A stake is a wooden stick, sharpened on one end and used to mark property lines (or slay a vampire).

In the Middle Ages, people would gamble by placing their bets on wooden posts, or stakes. Eventually the bets themselves became known as stakes. Today, you can use the word as a verb to describe any risky endeavor — for example, "Geoffrey staked his sandwich-making reputation on a six-foot hero with salami and pickles." A stake can also be an investment. If you say that "Bill has a stake in the business," it means he’s a part-owner.

Primary Meanings of stake

a strong wooden or metal post with a point at one end so it can be driven into the ground
mark with a stake
(law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something
the money risked on a gamble
put at risk
Full Definitions of stake

n a strong wooden or metal post with a point at one end so it can be driven into the ground

Type of:
an upright consisting of a piece of timber or metal fixed firmly in an upright position

n a pole or stake set up to mark something (as the start or end of a race track)

“the corner of the lot was indicated by a stake
starting post
a post marking the starting point of a race (especially a horse race)
winning post
the post at the end of a racecourse
Type of:
visual signal
a signal that involves visual communication

n instrument of execution consisting of a vertical post that a victim is tied to for burning

Type of:
instrument of execution
an instrument designed and used to take the life of a condemned person

v mark with a stake

stake out the path”
Type of:
make or leave a mark on

v tie or fasten to a stake

stake your goat”
Type of:
fasten, fix, secure
cause to be firmly attached

v kill by piercing with a spear or sharp pole

Type of:
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

n (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something

“a stake in the company's future”
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funds advanced to a prospector or to someone starting a business in return for a share of the profits
controlling interest
ownership of more than 50% of a corporation's voting shares
insurable interest
an interest in a person or thing that will support the issuance of an insurance policy; an interest in the survival of the insured or in the preservation of the thing that is insured
vested interest
(law) an interest in which there is a fixed right to present or future enjoyment and that can be conveyed to another
security interest
any interest in a property that secures the payment of an obligation
terminable interest
an interest in property that terminates under specific conditions
undivided interest, undivided right
the interest in property owned by tenants whereby each tenant has an equal right to enjoy the entire property
an interest in land capable of being inherited
the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation
(law) an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor (or his heirs) at the end of some period (e.g., the death of the grantee)
(frequently plural) the interest possessed by law or custom in some intangible thing
fee simple
a fee without limitation to any class of heirs; they can sell it or give it away
fee tail
a fee limited to a particular line of heirs; they are not free to sell it or give it away
sweat equity
interest in a building that a tenant earns by contributing to its renovation or maintenance
a reversion to the state (as the ultimate owner of property) in the absence of legal heirs
a deposit of personal property as security for a debt
a conditional conveyance of property as security for the repayment of a loan
conditional sale
a security interest taken by the seller in return for credit
a security pledged for the repayment of a loan
the right to take another's property if an obligation is not discharged
Type of:
part, percentage, portion, share
assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group

n the money risked on a gamble

bet, stakes, wager
jackpot, kitty, pot
the cumulative amount involved in a game (such as poker)
(poker) the initial contribution that each player makes to the pot
kitty, pool
the combined stakes of the betters
Type of:
money that is risked for possible monetary gain

v put at risk

“I will stake my good reputation for this”
adventure, hazard, jeopardize, venture
Type of:
lay on the line, put on the line, risk
expose to a chance of loss or damage

v place a bet on

back, bet on, gage, game, punt
place one's stake
double up, parlay
stake winnings from one bet on a subsequent wager
Type of:
bet, play, wager
stake on the outcome of an issue

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