Language: Old English
Origin: staca 'sharp post'


1 noun
stake1 W3

at stake

if something that you value very much is at stake, you will lose it if a plan or action is not successful:
They have to win the contract - thousands of jobs are at stake.
National pride is at stake in next week's game against England.


[countable] if you have a stake in a business, you have invested money in it
hold/have a stake in something
He holds a 51% stake in the firm.

have a stake in something

if you have a stake in something, you will get advantages if it is successful, and you feel that you have an important connection with it:
Young people don't feel they have a stake in the country's future.

money risked

[countable] money that you risk as the result of a horse race, card game etc:
For a dollar stake, you can win up to $1,000,000.

high stakes

a) if the stakes are high when you are trying to do something, you risk losing a lot or it will be dangerous if you fail:
Climbing is a dangerous sport and the stakes are high.
b) if the stakes are high when you are doing something such as playing a card game, you risk losing a lot of money

pointed stick

[countable]D a pointed piece of wood, metal etc, especially one that is pushed into the ground to support something or mark a particular place:
tent stakes
Drive two stakes into the ground about three feet apart.

the stake

SC a post to which a person was tied in former times before being killed by burning:
Suspected witches were burnt at the stake.

in the popularity/fashion etc stakes

used when saying how popular, fashionable etc someone or something is:
Ben wouldn't score very highly in the popularity stakes.

(be prepared to) go to the stake for/over something

British English to be willing to do anything to protect or defend an idea, or belief:
That's my opinion, but I wouldn't go to the stake for it.

pull up stakes

also up stakes British English informal to leave your job or home:
We're going to pull up stakes and move to Montana.

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