- a stick or post pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a boundary mark, part of a fence, support for a plant, etc.
- a post to which a person is bound for execution, usually by burning.
- the stake, the punishment of death by burning: Joan of Arc was sentenced to the stake.
- one of a number of vertical posts fitting into sockets or staples on the edge of the platform of a truck or other vehicle, as to retain the load.
- Mormon Church. a division of ecclesiastical territory, consisting of a number of wards presided over by a president and two counselors.
- sett(def 2).
- to mark with or as if with stakes (often followed by off or out): We staked out the boundaries of the garden.
- to possess, claim, or reserve a share of (land, profit, glory, etc.) as if by marking or bounding with stakes (usually followed by out or off): I'm staking out ten percent of the profit for myself.
- to separate or close off by a barrier of stakes.
- to support with a stake or stakes, as a plant: to stake tomato vines.
- to tether or secure to a stake, as an animal: They staked the goat in the back yard.
- to fasten with a stake or stakes.
- stake out,
- to keep (a suspect) under police surveillance.
- to appoint (a police officer) to maintain constant watch over a suspect or place.
- pull up stakes, Informal. to leave one's job, place of residence, etc.; move: They pulled up stakes and went to California.
Origin of stake1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- something that is wagered in a game, race, or contest.
- a monetary or commercial interest, investment, share, or involvement in something, as in hope of gain: I have a big stake in the success of the firm.
- a personal or emotional concern, interest, involvement, or share: Parents have a big stake in their children's happiness.
- the funds with which a gambler operates.
- Often stakes. a prize, reward, increase in status, etc., in or as if in a contest.
- stakes. Poker. the cash values assigned to the various colored chips, various bets, and raises: Our stakes are 5, 10, and 25 cents: you can bet out 10 cents on a pair and reraise twice at 25 cents.
- a grubstake.
- to risk (something), as upon the result of a game or the occurrence or outcome of any uncertain event, venture, etc.: He staked his reputation on the success of the invention.
- to furnish (someone) with necessaries or resources, especially money: They staked me to a good meal and a train ticket.
- at stake, in danger of being lost, as something that has been wagered; critically involved.
Origin of stake2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stake
We can, due to the critical issues at stake, also go one more step and impose an embargo.U.S. Should Make North Korea Pay for Sony Hack
Gordon G. Chang
December 18, 2014
Think about it: Dodd-Frank was explicitly passed to drive a stake through the heart of the implicit concept of “too big to fail.”How Naive is Elizabeth Warren?
December 18, 2014
At stake is not just the 21 photos that were originally ordered to be released.The Detainee Abuse Photos Obama Didn’t Want You To See
Noah Shachtman, Tim Mak
December 15, 2014
Then as now, we all are at stake, and sooner or later, we all must make a stand.McConaughey’s ‘Stand’—And Ours
December 5, 2014
Paul has consistently used Benghazi as a device to stake out high ground on foreign policy.Rand Paul Won’t Let Benghazi Die
December 2, 2014
Of course you'll do it, and you could do it better if you had three or four times the stake you got.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
We'll land that stake; an' p'raps the sharp division'll take a tumble.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
By golly, we'll stake her to a hay knife and tell her to go after him!Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
Eulalia, when at the stake, breathes the flame that she may die the more quickly.The Dream
Why, that must mean the stake yonder; that must be the mark.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
- a stick or metal bar driven into the ground as a marker, part of a fence, support for a plant, etc
- one of a number of vertical posts that fit into sockets around a flat truck or railway wagon to hold the load in place
- a method or the practice of executing a person by binding him to a stake in the centre of a pile of wood that is then set on fire
- Mormon Church an administrative district consisting of a group of wards under the jurisdiction of a president
- pull up stakes to leave one's home or temporary resting place and move on
- to tie, fasten, or tether with or to a stake
- (often foll by out or off) to fence or surround with stakes
- (often foll by out) to lay (a claim) to land, rights, etc
- to support with a stake
- the money or valuables that a player must hazard in order to buy into a gambling game or make a bet
- an interest, often financial, held in somethinga stake in the company's future
- (often plural) the money that a player has available for gambling
- (often plural) a prize in a race, etc, esp one made up of contributions from contestants or owners
- (plural) horse racing a race in which all owners of competing horses contribute to the prize money
- US and Canadian informal short for grubstake (def. 1)
- at stake at risktwo lives are at stake
- raise the stakes
- to increase the amount of money or valuables hazarded in a gambling game
- to increase the costs, risks, or considerations involved in taking an action or reaching a conclusionthe Libyan allegations raised the stakes in the propaganda war between Libya and the United States
- to hazard (money, etc) on a result
- to invest in or support by supplying with money, etcto stake a business enterprise
Word Origin and History for stake
"pointed stick or post," Old English staca, from Proto-Germanic *stakon (cf. Old Norse stiaki, Dutch staak, German stake), from PIE root *steg- "pole, stick." The Germanic word has been borrowed in Spanish (estaca), Old French (estaque), and Italian stacca) and was borrowed back as attach. Meaning "post upon which persons were bound for death by burning" is recorded from c.1200. Stake-body as a type of truck is attested from 1907. In pull up stakes, "The allusion is to pulling up the stakes of a tent" [Bartlett].
early 14c., "to mark (land) with stakes," from stake (n.1). Hence, to stake a claim (1857). Meaning "to risk, wager" is attested from 1520s, probably from notion of "post on which a gambling wager was placed," though Weekley suggests "there is a tinge of the burning or baiting metaphor" in this usage. Meaning "to maintain surveilance" (usually stake out) is first recorded 1942, American English colloquial, probably form earlier sense of "mark off territory." Related: Staked; staking.