from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A piece of wood or metal pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a marker, fence pole, or tent peg.
  • noun A vertical post to which an offender is bound for execution by burning.
  • noun Execution by burning. Used with the:
  • noun A vertical post secured in a socket at the edge of a platform, as on a truck bed, to help retain the load.
  • noun Mormon Church A territorial division consisting of a group of wards under the jurisdiction of a president.
  • noun Money or property risked in a wager or gambling game.
  • noun The prize awarded the winner of a contest or race.
  • noun A race offering a prize to the winner, especially a horserace in which the prize consists of money contributed equally by the horse owners.
  • noun A share or an interest in an enterprise, especially a financial share.
  • noun Personal interest or involvement.
  • noun Something, such as a crucial change or grave consequence, that may result from a situation.
  • noun A grubstake.
  • transitive verb To mark the location or limits of with stakes. Often used with out:
  • transitive verb To claim, establish, or register as one's own. Often used with out:
  • transitive verb To fasten, secure, or support with a stake or stakes.
  • transitive verb To tether or tie to a stake.
  • transitive verb To impale with a stake.
  • transitive verb To gamble or risk; hazard.
  • transitive verb To provide with money; finance.
  • transitive verb Sports To provide a lead for.
  • idiom (at stake) At risk; in question.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fasten to a stake; tether; also, to impale.
  • To support with stakes; provide with supporting stakes or poles: as, to stake vines.
  • To defend, barricade, or bar with stakes or piles.
  • To divide or lay off and mark with stakes or posts: with out or off: as, to stake off a site for a school-house; to stake out oyster-beds.
  • To stretch, scrape, and smooth (skins) by friction against the blunt edge of a semicircular knife fixed to the top of a short beam or post set upright.
  • To wager; put at hazard or risk upon a future contingency; venture.
  • noun A Middle English form of stack.
  • noun That which is placed at hazard as a wager; the sum of money or other valuable consideration which is deposited as a pledge or wager to be lost or won according to the issue of a contest or contingency.
  • noun The prize in a contest of strength, skill, speed, or the like.
  • noun An interest; something to gain or lose.
  • noun The state of being laid or pledged as a wager; the state of being at hazard or in peril: preceded by at: as, his honor is at stake.
  • noun The see or jurisdiction of a Mormon bishop.
  • noun A stick of wood sharpened at one end and set in the ground, or prepared to be set in the ground, as part of a fence, as a boundary-mark, as a post to tether an animal to, or as a support for something, as a hedge, a vine, a tent, or a fishing-net.
  • noun Specifically The post to which a person condemned to death by burning is bound: as, condemned to the stake; burned at the stake; also, a post to which a bear to be baited is tied.
  • noun In leather manufacturing, a post on which a skin is stretched for currying or graining.
  • noun A vertical bar fixed in a socket or in staples on the edge of the bed of a platform railway-car or of a vehicle, to secure the load from rolling off, or, when a loose substance, as gravel, etc., is carried, to hold in place boards which retain the load.
  • noun A small anvil used for working in thin metal, as by tinsmiths: it appears to be so called because stuck into the bench by a sharp vertical prop pointed at the end.
  • noun The ling.
  • noun The post or arm which carries the fixed or stationary jaw of a riveting-machine, and holds up the rivet against the pressure which upsets the metal and forms the head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To fasten, support, or defend with stakes.
  • transitive verb To mark the limits of by stakes; -- with out.
  • transitive verb To put at hazard upon the issue of competition, or upon a future contingency; to wager; to pledge.


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

[Middle English, from Old English staca.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English staca


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  • "Bunbury staked Kansas City to a 1-0 lead in first-half stoppage time."

    - Whitecaps stage amazing comeback to salvage tie,, 2-4-11.

    April 3, 2011

  • This is completely unintelligible to me. Who was in front, Bunbury or KC?

    April 3, 2011

  • Ha!

    Obviously it's out of context, but translation: Bunbury (a player) scored for Kansas City, giving them a 1-0 lead over the Whitecaps.

    It was a cracking game - wish I hadn't turned the T.V. off with 25 minutes to go and the 'caps down 3-0. They ended up drawing 3-3 with two goals in stoppage time.

    April 3, 2011

  • I'm still totally baffled about stake.

    North American sports reporting has countless weird synonyms for score.

    April 3, 2011

  • Oh, I see, thanks yarb. Australia and England both have Bunburys so without referring to the link I'd aassumed the Bunbury Whitecaps were a team of some sort.

    Which reminds me, see bunbury.

    April 3, 2011