—n. 1. a stick or post pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a boundary mark, part of a fence, support for a plant, etc.
2. a post to which a person is bound for execution, usually by burning.
3. the stake, the punishment of death by burning: Joan of Arc was sentenced to the stake. 4. one of a number of vertical posts fitting into sockets or staples on the edge of the platform of a truck or other vehicle, as to retain the load.
5. Mormon Ch.a division of ecclesiastical territory, consisting of a number of wards presided over by a president and two counselors.
6. sett (def. 2).
7. pull up stakes,Informal.to leave one's job, place of residence, etc.; move: They pulled up stakes and went to California.
—v.t. 1. to mark with or as if with stakes (often fol. by off or out): We staked out the boundaries of the garden. 2. to possess, claim, or reserve a share of (land, profit, glory, etc.) as if by marking or bounding with stakes (usually fol. by out or off): I'm staking out ten percent of the profit for myself. 3. to separate or close off by a barrier of stakes.
4. to support with a stake or stakes, as a plant: to stake tomato vines. 5. to tether or secure to a stake, as an animal: They staked the goat in the back yard. 6. to fasten with a stake or stakes.
7. stake out, a. to keep (a suspect) under police surveillance.
b. to appoint (a police officer) to maintain constant watch over a suspect or place.
—n. 1. something that is wagered in a game, race, or contest.
2. a monetary or commercial interest, investment, share, or involvement in something, as in hope of gain: I have a big stake in the success of the firm. 3. a personal or emotional concern, interest, involvement, or share: Parents have a big stake in their children's happiness. 4. the funds with which a gambler operates.
5. Often, stakes. a prize, reward, increase in status, etc., in or as if in a contest.
6. stakes.Poker.the cash values assigned to the various colored chips, various bets, and raises: Our stakes are 5, 10, and 25 cents: you can bet out 10 cents on a pair and reraise twice at 25 cents. 7. a grubstake.
8. at stake, in danger of being lost, as something that has been wagered; critically involved.
—v.t. 1. to risk (something), as upon the result of a game or the occurrence or outcome of any uncertain event, venture, etc.: He staked his reputation on the success of the invention. 2. to furnish (someone) with necessaries or resources, esp. money: They staked me to a good meal and a train ticket.