Definition of grubstake in US English:



North American
  • An amount of material, provisions, or money supplied to an enterprise (originally a prospector for ore) in return for a share in the resulting profits.

    • ‘But his father also had a fascination with gold, and he grew up hearing tales of miners, prospectors, and grubstakes at the dinner table.’
    • ‘All I needed was a grubstake to keep the wolves from the door.’
    • ‘She has, however, provisioned each egg with a grubstake: a substantial amount of nourishing yolk, which, soon after the egg hatches, is safely enclosed in the baby's gut.’
    • ‘With a grubstake from his father, he went to work.’
    • ‘After all, how different is the $5 million in first-round venture capital financing for a cyber start-up from the silver prospector's grubstake?’


[with object]North American
  • Provide with a grubstake.

    ‘he worried about his responsibilities to those who had grubstaked him’
    • ‘In fact, after their quarrel, Rodney believes that Tom has merely been grubstaking his work.’
    • ‘He argued that rich parent alluvial fields, such as the Victorian fields in the 1850s and Coolgardie - Kalgoorlie after 1892, grubstaked large numbers of prospectors and so quickened the rate of discovery of new deposits.’
    • ‘We grubstaked them and we were to see to getting the stuff out.’
    • ‘In many cases, he grubstakes those who don't have the cash to pay up front.’