\ 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
5 : grubstake
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
6 : grubstake
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 In January, Live Nation made a majority stake in Veeps, which hosted about 1,000 ticketed shows in 2020, generating $10 million in revenue. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "More streaming concerts coming post-COVID-19: Live Nation, livestreaming platform Veeps equipping 60+ venues," 13 Apr. 2021 Private-equity firm Carlyle Group Inc. is taking a majority stake in the owner of the popular skin-care and cosmetics brand Beautycounter, executives from the companies said. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Carlyle to Take Majority Stake in Owner of Beautycounter," 13 Apr. 2021 Concert giant Live Nation in January acquired, for an undisclosed price, a majority stake in live streaming platform Veeps, which hosted about 1,000 ticketed shows in 2020 alone, generating $10 million in revenue. Mike Snider, USA Today, "What will entertainment look like after COVID? Hybrid events for live and streaming crowds, plus more Zoom," 10 Apr. 2021 In 2016 BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago investment firm headed by former Goldman Sachs investment banker Byron Trott, acquired a stake in the company. Kim Quillen,, "Deep dish pizza chain Lou Malnati’s reportedly exploring a sale," 9 Apr. 2021 Toshiba was forced to sell a majority stake in its crown-jewel memory-chip business to avoid getting delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Manuel Baigorri, Fortune, "Toshiba buyout by CVC would be the largest private equity-led acquisition in years," 7 Apr. 2021 Slim, whose largest asset is a majority stake in pan-Latin American wireless telecom firm América Móvil, was the world’s richest person for four years from 2010 to 2013. Kerry A. Dolan, Forbes, "Mexico’s Richest Billionaires 2021," 6 Apr. 2021 Van der Hoog notes that the South African company initially acquired a stake in South West Breweries (which had taken over Hansa Breweries in 1967) and acquired the right to make and sell Hansa Pilsner under license in South Africa. Paul Nugent, Quartz, "What Namibia’s breweries tell us about the nation’s past," 13 Mar. 2021 Martini sold a majority stake in the label to Big Noise in 2019. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Anthony Martini Appointed Royalty Exchange CEO: Exclusive," 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Attackers also stake data with the goal to monetize it — this can result in severe damage to the company’s reputation and result in employees losing their jobs. Gary Fowler, Forbes, "Taking A Decentralized Approach To Cyber Security, Data Protection And Privacy," 7 Apr. 2021 This expert doom-and-gloomer can’t help but enjoy the tulips finally poking through the soil, the garden fresh and neat and full of promise before the weeds stake their claim and entropy prevails., "Such a downer," 27 Mar. 2021 The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, one of China's biggest automakers and the owner of Volvo, is launching a new electric-vehicle brand to stake its claim in the premium segment of the market. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Geely Launches Zeekr Premium-EV Brand in China to Compete with Tesla," 23 Mar. 2021 In some ways that shade is understandable and potentially correct even, as the Jazz have no real track record upon which to stake their own claim of legitimacy. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Nobody believes in the Jazz, so their mission is to shock the world and prove it wrong," 30 Mar. 2021 After Bertie died unexpectedly, Stradford decided to stake his claim in a former Native American trading village on the Arkansas River called Tulsa that had begun to attract oil men and entrepreneurs. Smithsonian Magazine, "The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921," 17 Mar. 2021 LeBron James squandered an opportunity to stake his claim during Anthony Davis’ absence. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA midseason awards: Why Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid are favorites for MVP," 10 Mar. 2021 Trump may eventually bow out of the running, and potential White House hopefuls are traveling to CPAC, kicking off Thursday, to stake their claim as his rightful successor. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Trump set to dominate CPAC, while would-be 2024 rivals labor for attention," 25 Feb. 2021 As many radiated out into the hills where creeks bubbled with gold, it was agreed, based on U.S. law regarding coastal lands, that the beach was free to all, with no right to stake a claim. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "Book review: The ‘wicked conspiracy’ that shaped Gold Rush-era Nome," 14 Feb. 2021

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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for stake



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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