- 1[countable] a wooden or metal post that is pointed at one end and pushed into the ground in order to support something, mark a particular place, etc. Tall plants can be secured by tying them to stakes.
- 2the stake [singular] a wooden post that somebody could be tied to in former times before being burnt to death (= killed by fire) as a punishment Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.
- 3[countable] money that somebody invests in a company a 20% stake in the business a controlling/majority/minority stake See related entries: Running a business
- 4[singular] stake in something an important part or share in a business, plan, etc. that is important to you and that you want to be successful She has a personal stake in the success of the play. Many young people no longer feel they have a stake in society.
- 5[countable] something that you risk losing, especially money, when you try to predict the result of a race, game, etc., or when you are involved in an activity that can succeed or fail How much was the stake (= how much did you bet)? They were playing cards for high stakes (= a lot of money). With only two points separating the top five players, the stakes are high as they enter the final round. Wordfinderbet, casino, chip, croupier, gambling, lottery, odds, roulette, stake, streak See related entries: Equine sports
- 6stakes [plural] the money that is paid to the winners in horse racing See related entries: Equine sports
- 7stakes [uncountable] used in the names of some horse races See related entries: Equine sports Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 Old English staca, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch staak, also to the verb stick. noun senses 3 to 6 late Middle English: perhaps a specialized usage of stake ‘post’ from the notion of an object being placed as a wager on a post or stake.Extra examples He has a personal stake in the outcome of the war. He will face the investigation with his reputation at stake. IBM will take an 18% ownership stake in the new company. She acquired a 4% direct stake in the company. She acquired a four per cent direct stake in the business. She was determined to win in the fashion stakes. The political stakes are high. They always play for high stakes. With so much at stake, we can’t afford to make mistakes. He was hammering stakes into the ground. The plants are supported with stout stakes. The route was marked with stakes with red stripes painted on them.Idioms that can be won or lost, depending on the success of a particular action We cannot afford to take risks when people's lives are at stake. The prize at stake is a place in the final. to be prepared to do anything in order to defend your opinions or beliefs He would have gone to the stake for his belief in his daughter’s innocence. used to say how much of a particular quality a person has, as if they were in a competition in which some people are more successful than others John doesn't do too well in the personality stakes.
(informal) to suddenly move from your house and go to live somewhere else He upped sticks and went back to France.