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See more synonyms for grubstake on Thesaurus.com
  1. provisions, gear, etc., furnished to a prospector on condition of participating in the profits of any discoveries.
  2. money or other assistance furnished at a time of need or of starting an enterprise.
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verb (used with object), grub·staked, grub·stak·ing.
  1. to furnish with a grubstake: I grubstaked him to two mules and supplies enough for five months.
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Origin of grubstake

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; grub + stake2
Related formsgrub·stak·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for grubstake

Historical Examples

  • He used up his grubstake, got a second from his backers, and subsequently a third.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • "I want to give you a grubstake," answered the motor wizard.

  • He wrote the letters—to himself—and spread the news just to raise a grubstake.

  • They was always more'n one wantin' to grubstake him but he'd never take it.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • Me, I got fo'-five chances to grubstake in that time, but I'm broke.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

British Dictionary definitions for grubstake


  1. US and Canadian informal supplies provided for a prospector on the condition that the donor has a stake in any finds
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verb (tr)
  1. US informal to furnish with such supplies
  2. mainly US and Canadian to supply (a person) with a stake in a gambling game
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Derived Formsgrubstaker, 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

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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper