\ 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

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 Millions of dollars were raised for charity, and the fact that nothing meaningful was at stake (save the egos of two prideful men) did not diminish my gratitude for the distraction, regardless of its ultimate entertainment merits. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, 29 Nov. 2021 But with so much at stake, this Bloom-Carroll team wasn’t going away that easy. K.J. Benedict showcased a sense of poise, guiding his team 49 yards down the field in response. Evan Merrill, The Enquirer, 28 Nov. 2021 So much seemingly at stake, week to week in the Pac-12, and then -- all of it put in perspective by Oregon’s head coach. John Canzano, oregonlive, 27 Nov. 2021 At stake can be millions of dollars in an era when mass online political donating is in vogue in both parties. New York Times, 26 Nov. 2021 With an uncertain future, interim coach and bowl bid at stake the school might not even accept, each player’s resolve will be tested. Edgar Thompson,, 26 Nov. 2021 Willuweit said medals were at stake this year but that also contestants would win pumpkin pies based on jersey numbers that were randomly picked. David Sharos,, 25 Nov. 2021 At stake is the price of the world’s most important commodity as politicians and central bankers contend with the strongest inflationary surge in more than a decade. Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2021 The Sun Devils will host rival Arizona at 2 p.m. Sunday with the Territorial Cup at stake. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 22 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Portlander Stacy Brewster’s debut story collection interrogates American masculinity through the voices of gay, bisexual and transgender characters who each stake a claim to being seen and accepted. oregonlive, 19 Nov. 2021 Sanders scored on a 7-yard run and Kewjuan Brown added a 7-yard score to stake Gardendale to a 14-0 halftime lead. al, 13 Nov. 2021 The Mining Act of 1872 gives U.S. citizens the right to stake claims on federal lands. USA Today, 17 Aug. 2021 The Mining Act of 1872 gives U.S. citizens the right to stake claims on federal lands., 16 Aug. 2021 But in a time when there is disillusionment with our election system, the Board of Elections failed and gave actors with bad intentions a place to stake their claims. Harry Enten, CNN, 30 June 2021 In e-commerce, logistics might not initially have seemed like fertile ground on which to stake a business. Amar Hanspal, Forbes, 10 June 2021 Allowing users to stake physical assets such as cars or real estate as collateral to take out a loan is a huge step forward. Lawrence Wintermeyer, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 The Dodgers have offered Lux two chances to stake his claim as their second baseman. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries Near stake



stake and bound

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Statistics for stake

Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stake

Nglish: Translation of stake for Spanish Speakers

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


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