at stake

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Related to at stake: put at stake


1. A piece of wood or metal pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a marker, fence pole, or tent peg.
a. A vertical post to which an offender is bound for execution by burning.
b. Execution by burning. Used with the: condemned to the stake.
3. A vertical post secured in a socket at the edge of a platform, as on a truck bed, to help retain the load.
4. Mormon Church A territorial division consisting of a group of wards under the jurisdiction of a president.
5. Sports & Games
a. often stakes Money or property risked in a wager or gambling game.
b. The prize awarded the winner of a contest or race.
c. A race offering a prize to the winner, especially a horserace in which the prize consists of money contributed equally by the horse owners.
a. A share or an interest in an enterprise, especially a financial share.
b. Personal interest or involvement: a stake in her children's future.
7. Something, such as a crucial change or grave consequence, that may result from a situation: The stakes are high in the mayoral election.
8. A grubstake.
tr.v. staked, stak·ing, stakes
a. To mark the location or limits of with stakes. Often used with out: staked out a garden patch.
b. To claim, establish, or register as one's own. Often used with out: staked out a mining claim at the office; staked out a place for herself in the library.
a. To fasten, secure, or support with a stake or stakes: staked down the tent; staked the shrubs.
b. To tether or tie to a stake.
c. To impale with a stake.
3. To gamble or risk; hazard: staked his week's pay on the horse race; staked the campaign on a promise of a tax cut.
4. To provide with money; finance: staked him to the money for the tickets.
5. Sports To provide a lead for: Her homer staked her team to a two-run lead.
Phrasal Verb:
stake out
1. To keep (a building, for example) under surveillance.
2. To assign (a police officer, for example) to an area to conduct surveillance: The police were staked out across the street from the apartment.
at stake
At risk; in question.

[Middle English, from Old English staca.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: stake - in question or at issue; "there is more at stake than your modesty" stake - to be won or lost; at risk; "perhaps a million dollars are at stake"
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(steik) noun
a sum of money risked in betting. He and his friends enjoy playing cards for high stakes.
to bet or risk (money or something of value). I'm going to stake $5 on that horse.
at stake
1. to be won or lost. A great deal of money is at stake.
2. in great danger. The peace of the country / Our children's future is at stake.
References in classic literature ?
Quincey Morris was phlegmatic in the way of a man who accepts all things, and accepts them in the spirit of cool bravery, with hazard of all he has at stake.
The latter, with the same coolness of which he had given proof, without committing the imprudence of touching his weapons, took up a beer-pot with a pewter-lid, and knocked down two or three of his assailants; then, as he was about to yield to numbers, the seven other silent men at the tables, who had not stirred, perceived that their cause was at stake, and came to the rescue.
The betting-books were covered with entries of immense sums, as though the Epsom races were at stake.