Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Purpose; motive: a quarrel only for the sake of argument.
  • n. Advantage; good: for the sake of his health.
  • n. Personal benefit or interest; welfare: for her own sake.
  • n. A Japanese liquor made from fermented rice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cause, interest or account.
  • n. Purpose or end; reason.
  • n. The benefit or regard of someone or something.
  • n. Contention, strife; guilt, sin, accusation or charge.
  • n. Rice wine, a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Final cause; end; purpose of obtaining; cause; motive; reason; interest; concern; account; regard or respect; -- used chiefly in such phrases as, for the sake of, for his sake, for man's sake, for mercy's sake, and the like.
  • n. a traditional alcoholic drink of Japan. It is made from rice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Strife; contention; dispute.
  • n. Fault; guilt.
  • n. Purpose; purpose of obtaining or achieving: as, to labor for the sake of subsistence.
  • n. Cause; account; reason; interest; regard to any person or thing: as, without sake: now always preceded by for, with a possessive: as, for my sake; for heaven's sake.
  • n. A Japanese fermented liquor made from rice. It contains from 11 to 17 per cent. of alcohol, and is heated before being drunk.
  • n. The generic name in Japan for all kinds of spirituous liquors, whether made from grain or grapes, fermented or distilled.
  • n. Same as saki.
  • n. A land-spring; a wet spot where the water oozes forth.
  • n. The magma or pulpy coagulum deposited from the waste liquors of wool-washing after addition of sulphuric acid. It is pressed cold to remove water; then, with hot pressing, it yields a dark-colored, sticky grease, known as Yorkshire grease, and a residual ‘seed-cake’ used as a fertilizer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the purpose of achieving or obtaining
  • n. Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice; usually served hot
  • n. a reason for wanting something done

Etymologies

Middle English, lawsuit, guilt, from Old English sacu; see sāg- in Indo-European roots.
Japanese.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English sake ("sake, cause"), from Old English sacu ("cause, lawsuit, legal action, complaint, issue, dispute"), from Proto-Germanic *sakō (“affair, thing, charge, accusation, matter”), from Proto-Indo-European *sag- (“to investigate”). Akin to Old Frisian seke ("dispute, strife, thing, matter") (Dutch zaak "cause, thing"), Old High German sahha ("quarrel, dispute, thing") (German Sache "thing, legal cause"), Old Norse sök ("lawsuit"), sekja ("dispute") (Danish sag, Swedish sak), Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌺𐌾𐍉 (sakjo, "dispute, argument"), Old English sōcn ("inquiry, prosecution"), Old English sēcan ("to seek"). More at soke, soken, seek. (Wiktionary)
From Japanese  (さけ, sake), any alcoholic drink. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "The magma or pulpy coagulum deposited from the waste liquors of wool-washing after addition of sulphuric acid. It is pressed cold to remove water; then, with hot pressing, it yields a dark-colored, sticky grease, known as Yorkshire grease, and a residual ‘seed-cake’ used as a fertilizer." --CD&C

    January 30, 2012

  • Benefit.

    October 29, 2009