1

grubstake

play
noun grub·stake \ˈgrəb-ˌstāk\

Definition of grubstake

  1. 1 :  supplies or funds furnished a mining prospector on promise of a share in his discoveries

  2. 2 :  material assistance (such as a loan) provided for launching an enterprise or for a person in difficult circumstances

grubstake was our Word of the Day on 09/13/2014. Hear the podcast!

1863

First Known Use of grubstake

1863


2

grubstake

verb grub·stake

Definition of grubstake

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to provide with a grubstake

grubstaker

noun

Did You Know?

Grubstake is a linguistic nugget that was dug up during the famous California Gold Rush, which began in 1848. Sometime between the first stampede and the early 1860s, when the gold-seekers headed off to Montana, prospectors combined grub ("food") and stake, meaning "an interest or share in an undertaking." At first grubstake was a noun, referring to any kind of loan or provisions that could be finagled to make an undertaking possible (with the agreement that the "grubstaker" would get a cut of any profits). By 1879, grubstake was also showing up as a verb meaning "to give someone a grubstake," and, since at least 1937, it has been applied to other situations in which a generous benefactor comes through with the funds.

1879

First Known Use of grubstake

1879

Learn More about grubstake


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up grubstake? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!