[ steyk ]
See synonyms for: stakestakes on

  1. 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.

  2. a post to which a person is bound for execution, usually by burning.

  1. the stake, the punishment of death by burning: Joan of Arc was sentenced to the stake.

  2. 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.

  3. Mormon Church. a division of ecclesiastical territory, consisting of a number of wards presided over by a president and two counselors.

verb (used with object),staked, stak·ing.
  1. to mark with or as if with stakes (often followed by off or out): We staked out the boundaries of the garden.

  2. 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.

  1. to separate or close off by a barrier of stakes.

  2. to support with a stake or stakes, as a plant: to stake tomato vines.

  3. to tether or secure to a stake, as an animal: They staked the goat in the back yard.

  4. to fasten with a stake or stakes.

Verb Phrases
  1. stake out,

    • to keep (a suspect) under police surveillance.

    • to appoint (a police officer) to maintain constant watch over a suspect or place.

Idioms about stake

  1. pull up stakes, Informal. to leave one's job, place of residence, etc.; move: They pulled up stakes and went to California.

Origin of stake

First recorded beforebefore 900; Middle English noun stak(e), stack(e), Old English staca “pin, stake”; cognate with Dutch staak, German Stake, Old Norse -staki (in lȳsistaki “candlestick”); akin to stick1; verb derivative of the noun

Other words for stake

Other definitions for stake (2 of 2)

[ steyk ]

  1. something that is wagered in a game, race, or contest.

  2. 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.

  1. a personal or emotional concern, interest, involvement, or share: Parents have a big stake in their children's happiness.

  2. the funds with which a gambler operates.

  3. Often stakes . a prize, reward, increase in status, etc., in or as if in a contest.

  4. 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.

verb (used with object),staked, stak·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to furnish (someone) with necessaries or resources, especially money: They staked me to a good meal and a train ticket.

Origin of stake

First recorded in 1530–40; origin uncertain

Other words for stake Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stake in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stake (1 of 2)


/ (steɪk) /

  1. a stick or metal bar driven into the ground as a marker, part of a fence, support for a plant, etc

  2. one of a number of vertical posts that fit into sockets around a flat truck or railway wagon to hold the load in place

  1. 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

  2. Mormon Church an administrative district consisting of a group of wards under the jurisdiction of a president

  3. pull up stakes to leave one's home or temporary resting place and move on

  1. to tie, fasten, or tether with or to a stake

  2. (often foll by out or off) to fence or surround with stakes

  1. (often foll by out) to lay (a claim) to land, rights, etc

  2. to support with a stake

Origin of stake

Old English staca pin; related to Old Frisian staka, Old High German stehho, Old Norse stjaki; see stick 1

British Dictionary definitions for stake (2 of 2)


/ (steɪk) /

  1. the money or valuables that a player must hazard in order to buy into a gambling game or make a bet

  2. an interest, often financial, held in something: a stake in the company's future

  1. (often plural) the money that a player has available for gambling

  2. (often plural) a prize in a race, etc, esp one made up of contributions from contestants or owners

  3. (plural) horse racing a race in which all owners of competing horses contribute to the prize money

  4. US and Canadian informal short for grubstake (def. 1)

  5. at stake at risk: two lives are at stake

  6. 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 conclusion: the Libyan allegations raised the stakes in the propaganda war between Libya and the United States

  1. to hazard (money, etc) on a result

  2. to invest in or support by supplying with money, etc: to stake a business enterprise

Origin of stake

C16: of uncertain origin

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 stake


In addition to the idioms beginning with stake

  • stake a claim
  • stake out

also see:

  • at stake
  • burn at the stake
  • have a stake in
  • pull up stakes

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