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90s Slang You Should Know


[gruhb-steyk] /ˈgrʌbˌsteɪk/
provisions, gear, etc., furnished to a prospector on condition of participating in the profits of any discoveries.
money or other assistance furnished at a time of need or of starting an enterprise.
verb (used with object), grubstaked, grubstaking.
to furnish with a grubstake:
I grubstaked him to two mules and supplies enough for five months.
Origin of grubstake
An Americanism dating back to 1860-65; grub + stake2
Related forms
grubstaker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for grubstake
Historical Examples
  • He must get all his grubstake in too, and after snowfall he would have to be mighty careful about making tracks around any place.

    The Lookout Man B. M. Bower
  • "I want to give you a grubstake," answered the motor wizard.

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
  • He had inveigled other men to share his hopes and labors, to grubstake him while he drove the tunnel that was to cut the vein.

    Poor Man's Rock Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • He used up his grubstake, got a second from his backers, and subsequently a third.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • Half an hour afterward he came to the house with his parfleches, and asked me to put him up a couple of weeks' grubstake.

    Desert Conquest A. M. Chisholm
  • They was always more'n one wantin' to grubstake him but he'd never take it.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • Ida Mary and I woke up one day a few weeks after our arrival to find our grubstake almost gone.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • "I'll tell them to grubstake you here," Casey reassured him.

    Desert Conquest A. M. Chisholm
  • Well, then, how much will you give me in cash for my mine and throw the grubstake in?

    Wunpost Dane Coolidge
  • And will you bring out that grubstake contract and have it cancelled in my presence?

    Wunpost Dane Coolidge
British Dictionary definitions for grubstake


(US & Canadian, informal) supplies provided for a prospector on the condition that the donor has a stake in any finds
verb (transitive)
(US, informal) to furnish with such supplies
(mainly US & Canadian) to supply (a person) with a stake in a gambling game
Derived Forms
grubstaker, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for grubstake

"material, provisions, etc. supplied to an enterprise (originally a prospector) in return for a share in the profits," by 1876, American English, from grub + stake (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for grubstake



The money needed for a new venture, new start, etc: Nobody knows how much he gave away in grubstakes (1863+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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