|Origin:||staca 'sharp post'|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
if the stakes are high when you are doing something such as playing a card game, you risk losing a lot of money
We're playing for high stakes here.
a pointed piece of wood, metal etc, especially one that is pushed into the ground to support something or mark a particular place:
Drive two stakes into the ground about three feet apart.
a post to which a person was tied in former times before being killed by burning:
Suspected witches were burnt at the stake.
used when saying how popular, fashionable etc someone or something is:
Ben wouldn't score very highly in the popularity stakes.
9 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.
10 also up stakes British English informal
to leave your job or home:
We're going to pull up stakes and move to Montana.