\ ˈstāk How to pronounce stake (audio) \

Definition of stake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed piece of wood or other material driven or to be driven into the ground as a marker or support
2a : a post to which a person is bound for execution by burning
b : execution by burning at a stake
3a : something that is staked for gain or loss
b : the prize in a contest
c : an interest or share in an undertaking or enterprise
4 : a Mormon territorial jurisdiction comprising a group of wards
6 : stakes race usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
at stake
: at issue : in jeopardy


staked; staking

Definition of stake (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to mark the limits of by or as if by stakes
2 : to tether to a stake
3 : bet, wager
4 : to fasten up or support (something, such as a plant) with stakes
5 : to back financially
stake a claim
: to assert a title or right to something by or as if by placing stakes usually to satisfy a legal requirement

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stake

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of stake in a Sentence

Noun Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. a poker game with high stakes The stakes are too high. Verb She staked the tomatoes to keep them from falling over. the actor staked the entire production of the film with his own money
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet the immigration and voter ID hardliner faces two challenges on his current quest for public office, and the stakes couldn't be higher. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Republicans fearful they could lose a Kansas Senate seat for the first time since 1932," 24 May 2020 The Kushner Companies, in which Jared still holds a large financial stake, has come under scrutiny in recent years for its litigious pursuit of tenants who allegedly owed back rent or broke leases, and for the poor conditions of many of the units. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "Rent Is Still Due in Kushnerville," 21 May 2020 Like our nation's warriors, our healthcare workers are expected to be ever vigilant to a threat that has life or death stakes. Shauna Springer, CNN, "Support the newest warriors: Those on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic," 19 May 2020 Bancel and Springer own stakes worth $2.45 billion and $1.38 billion, respectively, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Time, "This Professor Was One of the First Investors in Vaccine-Maker Moderna. He’s Now Worth Nearly $1 Billion," 19 May 2020 More than $2 billion of that figure reflected write-downs of the value of Uber's minority stake in other ride-hailing businesses around the world that have had their value fall due to the coronavirus. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber lays off 3,000 people in second big round of cuts," 18 May 2020 Given the high stakes and myriad variables, Zipadelli, the Stewart-Haas competition director, hopes drivers will show restraint - at least at the outset. Liz Clarke, Anchorage Daily News, "NASCAR ready to fire up its engines Sunday, hoping to lead sports’ return from quarantine," 16 May 2020 The race to develop a vaccine is particularly high stakes. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "The US Says Chinese Hackers Went Too Far During the Covid-19 Crisis," 14 May 2020 But Lopez’s financial stake might have overshadowed his decision about being the first guinea pig. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Ethics questions swirl around historic Parkinson’s experiment," 14 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The stage was set for Petit-Frere to stake his claim to a prominent place in the 2020 offense this spring. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Nicholas Petit-Frere’s ‘time to shine’ gives Ohio State football offensive line options in 2020," 28 Apr. 2020 But local farmers were some of the first white settlers to stake a claim to the Colorado, digging canals to irrigate their fields starting in 1901. Los Angeles Times, "As a dying Salton Sea spews harmful dust, Imperial Valley water wars heat up again," 23 Apr. 2020 Staffers quickly unloaded temporary flooring and tarps in New York City and began to stake the tents in the grass. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "An emergency field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients is opening in NYC's Central Park," 1 Apr. 2020 Although Kansas finished ranked No. 1 after a season in which 353 teams played thousands of games, Self was unwilling to stake claim to any kind of championship Monday. Nick Talbot,, "Talbot: The NCAA tournament that could have been," 18 Mar. 2020 Businesses across multiple sectors are leveraging these and other technologies to stake their claim in this new economic frontier. Suzanne P. Clark For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Space is our new economic frontier. The US can't afford to lose out," 2 Mar. 2020 For the first time in more than two decades, the franchise faces uncertainty at the quarterback position, brought on by Andrew Luck’s early retirement and prolonged by a Jacoby Brissett audition that failed to stake a claim to the job long-term. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts will consider 'all options' at quarterback, what's that mean for the draft?," 25 Feb. 2020 Bowl practices look key then for Devonshire and fellow freshman cornerback Jalen Geiger to stake a claim to a rotation spot heading into the offseason. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "These Kentucky football freshmen could stake claim to 2020 roles in Belk Bowl practices," 16 Dec. 2019 The American flag is omnipresent on houses and T-shirts—a token that allows any immigrant to stake a claim to citizenship, morally if not legally. The Economist, "Denmark wants to break up ethnic enclaves. What is wrong with them?," 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stake.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stake


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stake


Middle English, from Old English staca; akin to Middle Low German stake pole, and perhaps to Latin tignum beam

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Time Traveler for stake

Time Traveler

The first known use of stake was before the 12th century

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Statistics for stake

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for stake


How to pronounce stake (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pointed stick or post that is pushed into the ground especially to mark a place or to support something
: a post that a person was tied to and burned on in the past as a form of punishment
: something (such as money) that you could win or lose in a game, contest, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of stake (Entry 2 of 2)

: to risk the loss of (something, such as money)
: to support (something, such as a plant) with stakes


\ ˈstāk How to pronounce stake (audio) \

Kids Definition of stake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed piece (as of wood) that is driven into the ground as a marker or a support for something tent stakes A sign was nailed to a stake.
2 : a post to which a person is tied to be put to death by burning
3 : something that is put up to be won or lost in gambling They play cards for high stakes.
4 : the prize in a contest
5 : share entry 1 sense 1, interest She owns a stake in the business.
at stake
: in a position to be lost if something goes wrong If you miss the deadline, your job is at stake.


staked; staking

Kids Definition of stake (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : bet entry 2 sense 1 I've staked my reputation on the new plan.
2 : to mark the limits of by stakes They staked out the yard.
3 : to fasten or support (as plants) with stakes
4 : to give money to in order to help (as with a project)



Legal Definition of stake

1 : the subject matter (as property or an obligation) of an interpleader
2 : an interest or share in an especially commercial undertaking

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More from Merriam-Webster on stake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stake

Spanish Central: Translation of stake

Nglish: Translation of stake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stake for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stake

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