[ steyk-out ]
See synonyms for stakeout on
  1. the surveillance of a location by the police, as in anticipation of a crime or the arrival of a wanted person.

  2. the place from which such surveillance is carried out.

  1. something that is bounded or separated by or as if by stakes, especially property, territory, or the like that one identifies or claims as one's own.

Origin of stakeout

First recorded in 1940–45; noun use of verb phrase stake out Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stakeout in a sentence

  • Pioneers claimed the right to go in and stake out homesteads, but the soldiers of our government would not allow them to do so.

    The Boy Land Boomer | Ralph Bonehill
  • Then calculate the correct sun time of VI A.M. by your standard watch and stake out the morning hours.

  • Stake the trap solid, driving stake out of sight, and set the trap about ten inches in front of the hole.

    Science of Trapping | Elmer Harry Kreps
  • Her oil fields are promising, a paraffine oil of high grade, yet no oil producer has made or can make any great stake out of them.

    In to the Yukon | William Seymour Edwards
  • Set trap, a No. 1, in an inch of water square under the log and stake out in deep water as far as possible.

    Mink Trapping | A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding

British Dictionary definitions for stakeout


/ (ˈsteɪkaʊt) slang, mainly US and Canadian /

  1. a police surveillance of an area, house, or criminal suspect

  2. an area or house kept under such surveillance

verbstake out
  1. (tr, adverb) to keep under surveillance

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with stakeout


Keep an area or person under police surveillance; also, assign someone to conduct such a surveillance. For example, They staked out the house, or He was staked out in the alley, watching for drug dealers. [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.