\ 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

claim, interest, share

Synonyms: Verb

bankroll, capitalize, endow, finance, fund, subsidize, underwrite

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of stake in a Sentence


Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. a poker game with high stakes The stakes are too high.


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

At stake are billions of dollars in revenue from ads and services as well as the balance of power between two big industries. William Boston, WSJ, "The Battle for the Last Unconquered Screen—The One in Your Car," 6 Apr. 2019 Aramco plans to disclose financial statements for the first time via a bond prospectus, and use the issuance to help fund the acquisition of a stake in Saudi Arabia’s... Rory Jones, WSJ, "Aramco Is the World’s Most Profitable Company, Ratings Agencies Say," 1 Apr. 2019 Chinese company Fosun International has been making several changes since purchasing a majority stake in the brand back in February 2018. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lanvin Names Bruno Sialelli as Its New Creative Director," 21 Jan. 2019 The contestants are all regular, relatable people who enjoy baking and are particularly good at it—and who smile even when they get eliminated, if that gives you any idea of the stakes. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Best Holiday Specials to Watch (and Stream) Now," 7 Dec. 2018 Alibaba was turned down this year after expressing interest in an investment or acquisition, according to Reuters, while Tencent is said to have divested itself of a small stake in Bytedance some time ago. Sam Byford, The Verge, "How China’s Bytedance became the world’s most valuable startup," 30 Nov. 2018 Perelman says one important step that could be added to the new bid process is a municipal or regional referendum, which would offer more transparency and ideally, a better understanding of the financial stakes. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Olympics try more city-friendly bid process: Will it work?," 8 Oct. 2018 Carter did not delve into those distinctions, instead offering a sweeping condemnation of his latest successor to remind Democrats of the stakes. Bill Barrow, The Seattle Times, "Jimmy Carter cautions Democrats not to scare off moderates," 11 Sep. 2018 Cindy, whom Senator McCain married in 1980, reportedly inherited a majority stake in the Phoenix Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship her father founded in 1955. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "How John McCain Amassed His Fortune," 26 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint The fall release schedule’s pretty empty at the moment, but Ubisoft staked a claim this week with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, due to release October 4. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: John Wick tactics, a Blood remaster, and a survival-focused Ghost Recon," 10 May 2019 During her relatively short time as a member of the royal family, Meghan Markle has staked her claim on a few causes close to her heart. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "6 Reasons Why Meghan Markle Will Be an Eco-Friendly Mom," 15 Apr. 2019 The government has staked a significant part of its reputation on standing firm against Pakistan. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "Deadly Bombing Targets Indian Security Personnel in Kashmir," 14 Feb. 2019 No one has staked a claim to the confusing, self-defeating space between hype and entitlement, and then skepticism and resignation, like the English. Brian Straus,, "England's New Three Lions Appear to Be a Different Animal at This World Cup," 24 June 2018 Sewing has staked his reputation on cutting costs, minus one-time expenses, below 23 billion euros ($26.8 billion) this year. Steven Arons,, "Why Deutsche Bank Can’t Just Shake Off Its Problems," 24 June 2018 On albums that empathize with outsiders and chronicle subcultures from pro wrestling to goth, Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle has staked a claim as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Jim Kiest, San Antonio Express-News, "Concerts coming in 2018-2019 to San Antonio," 4 June 2018 Trump, meanwhile, has staked a lot of his reputation on ending the North Korean nuclear threat. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump’s big summit with Kim Jong Un is officially back on," 1 June 2018 Moon, the son of North Korean war refugees who rose to power last year and has staked his presidency on the prospect of inter-Korean peace, might also be trying to secure his own commitments from the North _ even if talks with Trump go nowhere. Anchorage Daily News, "Surprise meeting by North and South Korean leaders was requested by Kim Jong Un," 27 May 2018

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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Statistics for stake

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for stake

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on stake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on stake

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


something valued as if it were money

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