: to provide with material assistance (as a loan) for launching an enterprise or for a person in difficult circumstances
Did You Know?
Grubstake is a linguistic nugget that was dug up during the famous California Gold Rush, which began in 1848. Sometime between the first stampede and the early 1860s, when the gold-seekers headed off to Montana, prospectors combined grub ("food") and stake, meaning "an interest or share in an undertaking." At first grubstake was a noun, referring to any kind of loan or provisions that could be finagled to make an undertaking possible (with the agreement that the "grubstaker" would get a cut of any profits). By 1879, grubstake was also showing up as a verb meaning "to give someone a grubstake," and, since at least 1937, it has been applied to other situations in which a generous benefactor comes through with the funds.
For the production of his short film, Zachary was grubstaked by online donations from friends and supporters.
"Almost simultaneously, the Auerbachs opened a series of stores. They sold merchandise on commission throughout the Western states…. They grubstaked miners, held mining interests, purchased a sawmill and a 30-pack mule train." - Eileen Hallet Stone, The Salt Lake Tribune, November 16, 2013
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What 6-letter word beginning with "n" first appeared in the early 1850s and is often preceded by "gold"? The answer is …
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