Main definitions of stake in US English:

: stake1stake2

stake1

noun

  • 1A strong wooden or metal post with a point at one end, driven into the ground to support a tree, form part of a fence, act as a boundary mark, etc.

    • ‘Old houses were built on wooden stakes driven deep in the ground for stability.’
    • ‘He has wooden stakes up with pink flags on his property edges.’
    • ‘Rows were thinned to provide an even plant spacing and each plant marked with a numbered stake.’
    • ‘When planting tree roses, climbers or ramblers with long stems, tie them to stakes or supports immediately after planting.’
    • ‘The ground is getting hard, and it's become increasingly difficult to dig, to even pound these stakes into the ground.’
    • ‘To help provide support for the netting, I drive 6-foot wooden tomato stakes in the ground about every sixth bush.’
    • ‘Connect them together using 12.5 gauge fencer wire and then continue this wire back along your fence stakes as a dead wire and connect to the earth bars near the fencer.’
    • ‘Shivering slightly, I tied the horse's well-used rein to a rotting stake in the wooden fence and stepped inside.’
    • ‘The subplot centers were permanently marked with metal rebar stakes with labelled metal caps.’
    • ‘Before the plants start to stretch, he inserts four stakes firmly into the ground around the base of each plant, matching the spacing and pattern on the plastic lid.’
    • ‘With nothing built yet - stakes in the dunes mark the position of villas, tees, greens and bunkers - it is hard to gauge consumer interest.’
    • ‘Enclosures were made of plastic mesh stapled to wooden stakes driven into the ground.’
    • ‘A row of more than 15 bricks, pieces of concrete, metal poles, wooden stakes and a traffic cone were balanced on the track in a blatant act of sabotage.’
    • ‘Begin by anchoring the board firmly in place at the starting point, using wooden stakes driven into the ground.’
    • ‘To stake plants in a bed, drive 3-foot stakes into the ground after every third plant around the perimeter of the bed.’
    • ‘The simplest of all plant supports are stakes or poles.’
    • ‘I make a planting hole for each seedling with my finger, then use a small pointed plant marker stake or wooden Popsicle stick to lift seedlings.’
    • ‘The rickety beige structure is gone, and for the last few days workmen have been pounding enormous black stakes into the ground at regular intervals.’
    • ‘Canvas tents and hastily assembled lean-tos disappeared in favor of nylon tents complete with metal poles and nylon stakes.’
    • ‘Use a plumb bob and chalk to transfer each mark from the string to the ground, and drive a stake to mark the center of each post position.’
    post, pole, stick, spike, upright, support, prop, strut, stave, pale, paling, picket, pile, piling, stanchion, shaft, cane, beanpole, rod, mast
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the stakehistorical A wooden post to which a person was tied before being burned alive as a punishment.
      • ‘Thomas Weir was sentenced to death and burned at the stake, while his sister was hanged.’
      • ‘She rose from humble origins to become a military heroine by the age of 19, although she was ultimately captured and burned at the stake for heresy.’
      • ‘A few decades earlier Bruno had been found guilty of heresy, and then burned at the stake, for suggesting that Earth may not be the only place in the universe that harbors life.’
      • ‘First of all Papylus was nailed to a stake and lifted up, and after the fire was brought near he prayed in peace and gave up his soul.’
      • ‘Opinions and beliefs which are popular need no protection - it's the hard and unpopular ones that people get stoned and burned at the stake for.’
    2. 1.2 A long vertical rod used in basket-making.
      • ‘As well as the common method of weaving baskets on a stake and strand principle, Jane also makes coiled, plaited, interlaced and frame baskets.’
      • ‘Soak the ends of your stakes, cut the inside stakes flush with the top of the basket and cut and tuck the outside stakes into the first available weaver inside the basket.’
      • ‘Weave all the way around the basket, back to the starting point, going over one stake and behind the next.’
  • 2A metalworker's small anvil, typically with a projection for fitting into a socket on a bench.

    • ‘Numerous hammers, stakes and shaping tools were put to use in shaping the artwork of leaves.’
    • ‘It is also to be observed that of the two hammer-like instruments found together in the Harty hoard one is much larger than the other, and may have formed the head of a stake or anvil, while the other served as a hammer.’
  • 3A territorial division of the Mormon Church under the jurisdiction of a president.

    • ‘Congregations are organized into stakes and districts, which belong to a temple district.’
    • ‘The teenagers in our stake spent five days at the temple this year, with classes and activities during the day, a dance or testimony meeting at night, and a baptismal session in the temple each morning.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Support (a tree or plant) with a stake or stakes.

    • ‘Urban gardens are often sheltered from high winds, but the supplier will advise if you need to stake a new tree in the first year while the root system establishes itself.’
    • ‘However, if the tree was staked in the nursery or if you are planting in a windy location, proper staking will support the tree during its first years in the ground.’
    • ‘Recent studies at the University of California at Davis have shown that most people stake their young trees needlessly and for too long.’
    • ‘Tall perennials will look and fare better if they are staked or tied up to avoid slumping over on the ground.’
    • ‘To get her ivy to grow in the direction she wants it to, Lois Gunderman of Pennsylvania uses metal hair pins to stake the vines into the ground, away from the house.’
    • ‘A plant is staked when the root system is too small to hold it upright.’
    • ‘Finally, stake the tree for at least a year, allowing new anchoring roots to develop.’
    • ‘As your plants get larger, they will need to be staked in order to support the weight of the fruits as they begin to grow.’
    • ‘It keeps the fruit clean if tomato plants aren't staked and are allowed to sprawl on the ground.’
    • ‘It's always a good idea to stake trees when you plant them.’
    • ‘To stake plants in a bed, drive 3-foot stakes into the ground after every third plant around the perimeter of the bed.’
    • ‘As indoor tomato plants grow taller, make sure they are properly staked and that the side shots are pinched out to encourage the plant to grow tall.’
    • ‘You can stake this tree when young to give it more height, or, as I did, simply allow it to flow through the bed like a green wave.’
    • ‘And stake young trees, especially bare-root trees and evergreens, to fortify them against strong winds.’
    • ‘Support the cane of your selected rose by staking it with a bamboo stake and some rose or twist ties.’
    • ‘Check any staked trees to see if their ties are getting tight.’
    • ‘Keep gladiolus watered and fertilize regularly; stake taller varieties.’
    • ‘Trees are frequently staked for support after planting and there is much debate as to whether these should be long stakes, short stakes or even slanting stakes.’
    • ‘In flower-beds, stake tall perennials such as delphiniums and hollyhocks by using canes for individual flower stems or by pushing twiggy prunings from shrubs and trees into or around the clump.’
    • ‘It is a tall growing indeterminate plant which should be staked and tied for best results.’
    prop up, tie up, tether, support, hold up, bolster up, brace, buttress, reinforce, truss, stay
    View synonyms
  • 2stake something outMark an area with stakes so as to claim ownership of it.

    ‘the boundary between the two ranches was properly staked out’
    figurative ‘the local dog staked out his territory’
    • ‘Babu snagged the spot last year by dispatching a friend to stake it out two months before the season even started.’
    • ‘Once a territory is staked out and the owner of the property becomes lax in his knowledge that his land is safe is when he is the most vulnerable.’
    • ‘‘These territories might be staked out’ I added.’
    mark off, mark out, demarcate, mark the boundaries of, mark the limits of, outline, measure out, define, delimit, fence off, section off, close off, shut off, cordon off, bound, circumscribe
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Be assertive in defining and defending a position or policy.
      ‘Elena was staking out a role for herself as a formidable political force’
      • ‘Certainly the city still has a long way to go before we can start to claim mission success, but at least the road has been staked out toward completion.’
      • ‘You have to watch over things anyway, because people count on you to stake it out.’
      • ‘As hard as it can be to truly open up and mine the meaning of one's existence, and then stake that meaning out for public display, this is what it means to write a worthwhile autobiography.’
      • ‘Clashing with a rival release is to be avoided at all costs, and since the choice slots are staked out years in advance by the biggest of the big guns, April and May are a good time for smaller action movies to clean up.’
      • ‘She creates a new ‘moderate’ position by staking a position out on the margin of what had previously been ‘acceptable’.’
      • ‘But we also knew, and I knew, that if we had to take the right fork, then having staked it out this way, we were going to have to use military force.’
      • ‘Claim this ground as your own - before someone else stakes it out and gets all the votes.’
      • ‘Phones at David Horner & Co at the Pioneer Business Park in Clifton Moor ‘rang off the wall’ following a business page plea for shareholders to stake their claim out of a £690,000 pot.’
      • ‘Tom had staked this area out when he was a freshman to avoid sitting in a hallway and getting stepped on or a crowded student lounge.’
      • ‘One reason why I mostly left the Greek Gods alone in Sandman was that I felt that Eddie Campbell had staked them out as his territory in his DEADFACE comic, and I didn't want to intrude on what he was doing.’

Phrases

  • pull up stakes

    • Move or go to live elsewhere.

      • ‘Geneva, which in the not-so-distant past was considered a cultural backwater, with many galleries pulling up stakes to move elsewhere, has recently become an importer of galleries and auction houses.’
      • ‘The fantasy of pulling up stakes and living somewhere new tends to hit me wherever I travel in the West - Boulder, Colorado, or Bellingham, Washington, or Bend, Oregon.’
      • ‘If trying to fix the system doesn't work, parents need to have the option to pull up stakes and move on instead of subjecting their children to schools that can't educate.’
      • ‘Two years ago, the Lee family pulled up stakes in Houston, Texas, one of the country's certified boomtowns, and moved to Murrysville.’
      • ‘Over the past 10 years, thousands of us have pulled up stakes and moved away.’
      • ‘I started by pulling up stakes and moving with my girlfriend, the cats, and faithful Horatio to a well-fortified compound in the ridiculous mansion district of Beverly Hills.’
      • ‘Tommie pulled up stakes and moved back to Cleveland to be by his mother.’
      • ‘Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America wrote eloquently of Americans' love for pulling up stakes and moving on.’
      • ‘That's the kind of weather report that might cause golfers to think about pulling up stakes and moving to Phoenix.’
      • ‘‘There aren't many organizations that allow you to essentially pull up stakes and move your office 1,500 miles away,’ Chad said.’
  • stake a claim

    • Assert one's right to something.

      • ‘In addition to its important role as a simulator for pilots, model aircraft flying is staking a claim to serious sports status.’
      • ‘Abeba is a taxi driver, one among a handful of women staking a claim to what was once an exclusively-male preserve.’
      • ‘At the same time, with seven different teams across both codes staking a claim to him, he felt his hurling was suffering.’
      • ‘Ellis, who has only been part of the tour since the turn of the millennium, is staking a claim as a serious contender in this most challenging of competitions, even taking the lead for a short time during the earlier rounds.’
      • ‘After not featuring in the first team squad since November, he returned to training shortly before Christmas and seemed to be on the verge of staking a claim for a senior start again.’
      • ‘I am staking a claim to be a genius of logistical planning.’
      • ‘It is a commonplace feature of political and legal debate that advocates of various interests seek to characterise those interests as rights, thereby staking a claim for weight or recognition that may be contestable.’
      • ‘An 89-year-old from Gloucester is staking a claim to being the world's longest-serving altar ‘boy’.’
      • ‘When the surrounding metropolitan area is included, Cairo has a population of 14.5 million, staking a claim to 9th largest city in the world.’
      • ‘However, those states not formed around a pre-existing national identity have greater difficulty in staking a claim to being a nation-state, and consequent problems with stability.’
      assert, declare, proclaim, state, make, lay, establish, put on record, put in
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • stake someone/something out

    • Continuously watch a place or person in secret.

      ‘they'd staked out Culley's house for half a day’
      • ‘I can't let him go, or else I will be forced by some force greater than I to stake him out again and draw him back, as I have done twice before.’
      • ‘We stake the place out, eyeing the set up of the amps and the positioning of the security guards.’
      • ‘We're also looking at the possibility that it was a predator who had staked her out, watched her over a period of time, and went in and took her for sexual purposes.’
      • ‘I'm tempted to go down and stake them out, but thousands of others are thinking the same thing.’
      • ‘We would stake them out at a lunch-in, or stand in the Senate gallery when they were going to a vote - which I think is illegal.’
      • ‘Clearly, what happened here was that they were staking him out.’
      • ‘I have been staked out by numerous people the entire morning, all of them telling me wacky rumors about you.’
      • ‘Since photographers have to stake these babies out, spending days lurking in the bushes waiting for one to sail on by, branches and leaves are often in the frame.’
      • ‘We'll stake him out tomorrow, and hit when he's in a good area.’
      • ‘I staked it out for a while and noticed a young woman about Mr. Yu's height walking with her.’
      • ‘The man is separated from his wife, when he does have a private relationship with someone else, should we be staking it out?’
      observe, watch, keep an eye on, keep under observation, keep watch on, keep under surveillance, survey, monitor, keep under scrutiny, watch like a hawk, keep a weather eye on, spy on, check out
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English staca, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch staak, also to stick.

Pronunciation

stake

/stāk//steɪk/

Main definitions of stake in US English:

: stake1stake2

stake2

noun

usually stakes
  • 1A sum of money or something else of value gambled on the outcome of a risky game or venture.

    ‘playing dice for high stakes’
    figurative ‘the mayor raised the stakes in the battle for power’
    ‘the stakes are high with a six-figure bonanza in television rights in the balance’
    • ‘They also understood that the war of ideas had to be fought by engaging in real-world controversies, with stakes wagered on the outcome.’
    • ‘Cabrail looked from one to the other and raised the stakes.’
    • ‘‘The stakes are high, and one misstep could negate the assumptions for continuing growth and development,’ he said.’
    • ‘The lure of casinos has raised the stakes for federal recognition.’
    • ‘The atmosphere is very tense and the stakes are high.’
    • ‘Early critiques are mixed, but the scale of the game's ambitions has raised the stakes of what players will come to expect.’
    • ‘I was fighting for my body, and for myself: the stakes were high.’
    • ‘He makes clear that the stakes are high and that the outcome is far from assured.’
    • ‘The stakes are high, but the opportunity is enormous.’
    • ‘The learning curve is steep and the stakes are high.’
    • ‘Andre Agassi raised the stakes in the men's game at the Australian Open when he displayed a mental and physical toughness to win his sixth Grand Slam title.’
    • ‘And it raised the stakes for LaVerdiere's recent gallery exhibition, his first with Lehmann Maupin, in New York.’
    • ‘But tomorrow brings another election, where the stakes are high, the personalities are bigger than the issues, and the electorate is grumpy.’
    • ‘Sharply rising income inequality has raised the stakes of the economic game.’
    • ‘With Essendon sitting at 13 th and the Swans at 12 th the stakes are high and it is a game that I am really looking forward too.’
    • ‘Because the stakes are high, and because good regulation demands the proof of clear public benefit, the Commission's approach is rigorous.’
    • ‘I very much encourage the Government to keep working in that area, because the stakes are high and we need to encourage more private savings in this country.’
    • ‘It's one of those shoot-it-once-or-forget-it-scenes where the stakes are high, a nice inclusion on this documentary.’
    • ‘I don't think I've ever met a successful man who didn't take risks or didn't gamble for high stakes.’
    • ‘The stakes were high, but that's how I like them.’
    bet, wager, ante, pledge, hazard
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A share or interest in a business, situation, or system.
      ‘GM acquired a 50 percent stake in Saab’
      • ‘Yang said the group wants foreign investors to take stakes in its business, but will insist that it be the controlling shareholder in any joint ventures.’
      • ‘This obviously means that the audience for our scholarship now includes all who have a stake in this bigger system.’
      • ‘A 25.78 per cent stake - 261 352 shares - will be up for sale until February 17.’
      • ‘The key is Rupert's 30 per cent stake in the voting shares - 307.8 million out of 1.05 billion.’
      • ‘A mediator is someone who does not have a stake in the business - a dispassionate third-party who can solve particularly sticky issues.’
      • ‘Whatever the final outcome of the case, the delay in the ruling will provide time for deals to be struck by financial interests that have a stake in the dispute.’
      • ‘Face it: top executives act more like owners when they have a stake in the business.’
      • ‘It has proven to be successful in accommodating the differing interests that have a stake in the legislative process.’
      • ‘A financial restructuring in May last year raised £1.6 million and lease obligations were converted into a 6.8 per cent share stake.’
      • ‘Most people who tell you about the patent system have a stake in it, and so they want you to like it.’
      • ‘Independent advisors often offer an impressive level of personal service because they have a stake in the business.’
      • ‘A group of seven airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, has taken a 46 per cent stake in the system.’
      • ‘Perera is thought to be the main shareholder in the company, although its staff has a 20 per cent stake through a staff share ownership scheme.’
      • ‘With a 35 per cent stake in the business, Martin was once worth £35 million.’
      • ‘The joint ventures in a number of Scottish cities will operate under the Quality Street brand, but local partners will have a stake in the business.’
      • ‘Bendini & Shaw's owner, Harry O'Kelly, took a 25 per cent stake in the enlarged business.’
      • ‘He now has a 22.2 per cent stake in the business.’
      • ‘Those who do have a stake in the current system - the teachers' union, for example - point to the schools' bad condition as a reason for the government to appropriate more money.’
      • ‘The Bronfman family's 7.5 per cent stake in the resulting business was worth $6.5 billion when the deal was struck.’
      • ‘A number of Lake District private investors have taken a 30 per cent stake in the business, freeing up cash for further growth.’
      share, interest, financial interest, investment, involvement, concern
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2stakes Prize money, especially in horse racing.
      • ‘Former champion jockey Willie Carson said a Manchester racecourse would up the stakes in the sport - and propel the city into the world's richest league.’
      • ‘Those purses are rising more dramatically than the stakes and allowance races.’
      • ‘Handicap stakes and prize money of that sort for a long-distance handicap at Musselburgh would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.’
      • ‘Mecca Bingo in Regent Circus is angry that it will not be able to increase stakes and prize money when new legislation comes into force.’
      • ‘Even so, the real driving force behind such travel was not the railway but increased prize money or stakes which still came largely from the subscriptions of rich patrons.’
      prize money, purse, pot, winnings
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3stakesin names A horse race in which all the owners of the racehorses running contribute to the prize money.
      ‘the horse is to run in the Lexington Stakes’
      • ‘Earlier, Kieren Fallon's mount Nevisian Lad came through late to take the July Stakes.’
      • ‘He exits a fifth-place finish in the John Henry Stakes at the Meadowlands on September 20.’
      • ‘Comic Truth won the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta on November 24 for trainer Cole Norman.’
      • ‘All the action from day two of Flat racing's big meeting, where Grandera wins the Prince of Wales' Stakes, the big race of the day.’
      • ‘On May 7, the Saudi Arabia Royal Cup, the Oasis Stakes Race, was held at Tokyo Racetrack.’
      • ‘Wando had not won a stakes race since clinching the Triple Crown in the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine last August.’
      • ‘On July 3 at Arlington, the five-year-old son of Fit to Fight won the Better Bee Stakes.’
      • ‘Prior to that effort, she finished second in the Flawlessly Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4.’
      • ‘She also won the Dade Turf Classic Stakes at Ellis Park earlier this year.’
      • ‘After Epsom, the colt went on to win the Irish Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.’
      • ‘He sent out Turk Flyer to win the Oklahoma Classics Day Turf Stakes on October 22 at Remington.’
      • ‘The £30,000 Unicorn Fleur de Lys Fillies' Stakes is the richest race on the card, and Zayn Zen may prove the answer.’
      • ‘She also won the Swettenham Stud Fillies Trial Stakes at Newbury for trainer Michael Jarvis.’
      • ‘Earlier this year, he won the Claiming Crown Express Stakes at Philadelphia Park with Talknow.’
      • ‘She was scratched out of Friday's Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill in favor of Saturday's race.’
      • ‘Frankie Dettori urged Grandera to the narrowest of wins over Hawk Wing in the Group One Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.’
      • ‘Where Or When, who had beaten Hawk Wing in last season's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, was a distant second with Olden Times third.’
      • ‘Galileo also landed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot and the Irish Derby.’
      • ‘All the action from the first day of Flat racing's big meeting, where Rock of Gibraltar won the feature race, the St James' Palace Stakes.’
      • ‘She added to her credentials that afternoon when she took the Appalachian Stakes in her first attempt on the grass.’
    4. 1.4stakeswith modifier A situation involving competition in a specified area.
      ‘we will keep you one step ahead in the fashion stakes’
      • ‘They just want to protect their market share by teaming up with fellow soulmates to keep the competition in the superstition stakes at bay.’
      • ‘Hats dominate the fashion stakes with racegoers.’
      • ‘But he has competition in the style stakes from Dougray Scott, who has recently been linked with the role of James Bond because of his suave good looks.’
      • ‘Smart said yesterday that it was confident of taking on Eircom in the competition stakes.’
      • ‘And nowhere are the financial and health stakes higher than in the area of cardiac surgery.’
      competition, contest, battle, challenge, rivalry, race, running, struggle, scramble
      View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • 1Gamble (money or something else of value) on the outcome of a game or race.

    ‘one gambler staked everything he'd got and lost’
    figurative ‘it was risky to stake his reputation on one big success’
    • ‘Sandra Noel deals carefully with the tragedy, not simply the loss of personal friends of her father, but almost a financial disaster as he had staked his all on returning with a record of victory.’
    • ‘Although she had monitored the racing at Fairyhouse by teletext throughout Sunday afternoon, she had no idea that her first six wins meant she had €94,000 staked on the last race.’
    • ‘There was a sense, largely but not exclusively fostered by the new breed of genome-based private companies, that everyone was in a race to stake claims as fast as they could and reap huge profits from their discoveries.’
    • ‘Here the bank would take half the money that had been staked on the paired cards.’
    • ‘One gambler staked £5,000 on snow in London on Friday.’
    • ‘She wasn't staking any chances that he might skip out on her.’
    • ‘It's a fascinating read, and reveals the extent to which rakish elements amongst landowners and the aristocracy staked huge wagers on the outcome of sporting events.’
    • ‘Such revelry was worsened by the heavy betting involved: £1, 000 could be staked on one game as players competed for such prizes as gloves and pieces of lace.’
    • ‘Players who are not prepared to wager that their cards are best can drop out of the betting, sacrificing any money staked up to that point.’
    • ‘The total money staked by the players must not be more than what is currently in the bank, but within this limit you can bet any amount you wish.’
    • ‘It was just over four years ago that the 57-year-old staked his future on bookmaking and he's now reaping the dividends as the formerly illicit world of gambling is undergoing a mainstream makeover.’
    • ‘It just shows you can win big even when you haven't staked much money.’
    • ‘The endowment mortgages, with-profits funds and private pensions on which people staked their futures are a national scandal.’
    • ‘The exercise is merely one of interest, as none of my own money has been staked in the past, nor will be in the future.’
    • ‘In Britain, £3 million a day is staked in online games.’
    • ‘On the Ladbrokes site there are up to 5,000 players online at any one time and more than $7 million is staked each day (dollars are the game's universal online currency).’
    • ‘Four co-workers have decided to see if this idea is possible, staking a month's salary on who can stay inside the longest.’
    • ‘The financial risks belonged to his wealthy patrons, while he staked his ambitious future.’
    • ‘Still I'm thankful that I can pick and choose gigs, just playing for enjoyment and spare cash rather than having to stake my living on it.’
    • ‘A once-in-a-lifetime chance to start a business of your own, for instance, may dictate staking everything you're worth on it.’
    bet, wager, place a bet of, lay, put on, gamble, pledge, chance, venture, risk, hazard
    View synonyms
  • 2North American informal Give financial or other support to.

    ‘he staked him to an education at the École des Beaux-Arts’
    • ‘His father had staked him some money to buy a limited partnership in Mostly Bull when the firm was still a calfling during the exuberant days when the Insecurity business was actually making money for some people.’

Phrases

  • at stake

    • 1To be won or lost; at risk.

      ‘people's lives could be at stake’
      • ‘What is at stake is not just the fate of a failed technology company.’
      • ‘The tempo of the game was at the highest point as both teams threw everything into the game with so much at stake.’
      • ‘How do you decide the bottom line, when people's lives or the world economy, are at stake?’
      • ‘This is very depressing with the future of the world's climate at stake.’
      • ‘Huge sums of money are at stake, so timing and discretion are paramount.’
      • ‘There are people's lives at stake and our country is up to it and the people here are up to it.’
      • ‘However, those not prepared to take responsibility for what they do when drunk should be aware of what is at stake.’
      • ‘Much more is at stake in the battle which is about to get under way.’
      • ‘The risks are higher, the stakes lower and the goals would be considered laughable if so many lives were not at stake.’
      • ‘For professional huntsman Richard Emmott the Government's ban means his job and home are at stake.’
      • ‘But with little at stake it was perhaps not surprising there was little in the way of genuine action.’
    • 2At issue or in question.

      ‘the logical response is to give up, but there's more at stake than logic’
      • ‘There are many issues at stake here, not least those of equity and social justice.’
      • ‘Strenuous efforts were made to inform the people of the issues at stake in the Nice Treaty.’
      • ‘This one makes you sift through the issues at stake in the election in Britain.’
      • ‘However, there are more fundamental questions at stake, about the very meaning of right and wrong.’
      • ‘He says that there's a bigger issue at stake than simply the future of one 19th century building.’
      • ‘But it should not be assumed without serious consideration of the issues at stake.’
      • ‘Each has said that the cash will come in handy, but there are more important issues at stake.’
      • ‘There are several issues at stake here, but two stand out in particular.’
      • ‘There does not seem to me to be a fundamental issue of jurisprudence at stake, but more a question of evidence.’
      • ‘The issues at stake are issues that people of faith need to confront.’

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps a specialized usage of stake, from the notion of an object being placed as a wager on a post or stake.

Pronunciation

stake

/stāk//steɪk/