\ 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 Amazingly enough, plenty is at stake for all three teams, who each enter the weekend holding down a playoff position. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "After COVID-caused shutdowns, September schedule intimidating for Cardinals, Marlins and Phillies," 12 Sep. 2020 Obviously, there are bragging rights at stake for whoever wins. Ben Thomas |, al, "‘Best 2 QBs in the state?’ Daphne’s Trent Battle, Fairhope’s Riley Leonard face off," 2 Sep. 2020 His summary of potential concerns in a second term sidesteps what is actually at stake for our nation. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: On discourse and reality, and Calvinism vs. racism. Plus: Electric vehicles.," 28 Aug. 2020 On the first point, Charen glosses over the details of what is at stake for pro-lifers in presidential elections. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "How Pro-Lifers Should See Political Power," 27 Aug. 2020 There's much at stake for Latinos in this election, Zamarripa said. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "2020 DNC in Milwaukee: 'Break the Silence in the Burbs' march heads to Wisconsin Center from Tosa," 19 Aug. 2020 At stake for Maryland is $18,000 in federal funds per person over the next decade. Alison Knezevich,, "Baltimore groups race to reach ‘hard to count’ communities after census deadline change," 14 Aug. 2020 A month earlier, Harris joined a Women for Biden call May 21 to discuss what was at stake for women in November. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "11 names, 120 hours of interviews: Inside the grueling VP search that led Joe Biden to Kamala Harris," 13 Aug. 2020 There is much at stake for professional teams and their leagues in 2020. Eric Branch,, "49ers stress responsibility in following safety protocols regarding virus," 10 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lundy threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Sky Niblett – head coach Josh Niblett’s son – to stake the Bucs to a 10-0 first quarter lead. al, "Josh Lundy, Hoover hold off fourth-quarter Vestavia Hills rally for 24-21 win," 4 Sep. 2020 If the roots were not exposed for long periods and the shrubs still look reasonably good, straighten them, cover their roots and stake them to hold them upright. Dan Gill,, "To keep your garden healthy, repair even small amounts of wind and water damage quickly," 27 Aug. 2020 Now Shivers — all 5-foot-7 and 179 pounds of him — is looking to stake his spot in Auburn’s backfield as the elder statesman of a relatively young and unproven group of running backs. Tom Green |, al, "Shaun Shivers wants to add to his ‘legend’ at Auburn, this time as a leader," 29 Aug. 2020 The Indiana recruit ran for an 18-yard touchdown on the Wildcats’ first drive and connected with star junior receiver Omar Cooper for touchdowns of 62 and 64 yards on Lawrence North’s next two drives to stake the Wildcats to a 21-7 lead. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "'Our only opponent that can stop us is COVID.' Lawrence North offense puts on show vs. Avon," 22 Aug. 2020 On the day of the race gathered the skilled pilots who were to stake all, in one breathless hour, on the brains and skill of their engineers and mechanics. Christoper Spregg, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the 1929 Daredevil Race To Become the World's Fastest Plane," 19 Aug. 2020 The hype for the third heavyweight fight in the Stipe Miocic-Daniel Cormier trilogy comes with a bit of a bombastic claim -- the winner is not only the champion, but can stake his reputation as the greatest in the history of the division. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, "UFC legacies on line for Miocic-Cormier trilogy title fight," 14 Aug. 2020 But with a January season featuring Fields, Wade, Wyatt Davis, Josh Myers, Chris Olave and maybe Henderson, the Buckeyes could stake their claim and let history decide who the best team of this dual season really was. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ryan Day has a January plan to save an Ohio State football season," 12 Aug. 2020 Dube became the latest depth player to sting the Stars in the postseason, scoring twice in the first period to stake the Flames to a 2-0 lead. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Why Stars coach Rick Bowness says starting Anton Khudobin over Ben Bishop in Game 1 vs. Flames was ‘an easy decision’," 12 Aug. 2020

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

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 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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