stack (something) against (someone or something)

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stack (something) against (someone or something)

1. Literally, to build and lean a pile of something against something. Investigators found that someone had stacked large crates against the emergency exit, blocking everyone's egress once the fire broke out. You can just stack those boxes against the wall over there.
2. To manipulate some situation or circumstances to make it harder for someone or something to succeed. Typically "the deck," "the cards," or "the odds" is used between "stack" and "against." Often used in passive constructions. The Olympic committed is facing criminal charges for stacking the odds against athletes from particular countries. Of course, simply by virtue of his being the boss's son, Jeremy has stacked the cards against the rest of us for an early promotion. These big corporations stack the deck against any small business that might stand in their way by hiring huge, high-level legal firms to drown them in litigation.
See also: stack

stack something against someone or something

to make a pile of something that leans against someone or something. (See also stack the deck (against someone or something).) Watch what you are doing! Why are you stacking the books against me? They will fall when I move. stack the books against the wall.
See also: stack
References in periodicals archive ?
Save the Children said: "Parents feel like the system is stacked against them."
In polls, most New Yorkers said they wanted the company and its 25,000 promised jobs, but protesters objected over tax concessions, rising rents, crowded schools, and more, and Amazon decided that local politics were stacked against it, the author notes.
The odds are certainly stacked against Alaska after falling 2-0 in its seven-game series against Magnolia in the PBA Governors' Cup finals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kamila Shamsie winning the 'Women's Prize for Fiction' for her novel Home Fire is one among many instances where Pakistani women are winning big despite the odds stacked against them.
With the odds stacked against them, it is great credit to Welsh Labour MP Carolyn Harris and SNP MP Ronnie Cowan that they stuck with it through thick and thin.
We all know the odds are stacked against comebacks.
Where the evidence stacked against him has significant bearing, the fact that should further be taken into consideration is that Anwar blatantly refuted court summons, resisted arrest and evaded trial; a testament to his culpability.
The odds are certainly stacked against Noel and his team in the opening episode as a golden retriever puppy with horrific facial injuries is brought into the practice needing urgent help and a man drives all the way from Switzerland in search of a successful treatment for a chihuahua.
Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man.
The odds are now stacked against the punters and in favour of Camelot.
"We will travel over there with the odds stacked against us but ready to put some pride back into the shirt."
The title suggests something triumphant, but Park Jung-bum's second feature, "Alive," might as well have the prefix "Barely"--its protagonists are scraping by with cruel odds stacked against them, as in his acclaimed 2010 debut, "The Journals of Musam." Once again, the writer-director-actor is compelling as the chief victim of perpetual setbacks, but this handsome, accomplished film becomes an increasingly dirge-like chronicle of woe as it marches into its third hour--an artistically impressive achievement that perhaps demands more patience than it rewards.
TSHERING Lama is used to the odds being stacked against him.
STEVEN NAISMITH has vowed that Everton will fight to the end for Champions League qualification despite the odds stacked against them.
DESPERATELY ill small babies in need of organ donations have "the odds stacked against them" because of current UK guidelines, experts have warned.