[ 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

Words Nearby stakeout Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stakeout in a sentence

  • It's your first time with this stakeout business, that's all.

    Sight Gag | Laurence Mark Janifer

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.