1. in question or at issue; - Example: "there is more at stake than your modesty"
2. to be won or lost; at risk; - Example: "perhaps a million dollars are at stake"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stake \Stake\ (st[=a]k), n. [AS. staca, from the root of E.
stick; akin to OFries. & LG. stake, D. staak, Sw. stake, Dan.
stage. See Stick, v. t., and cf. Estacade, Stockade.]
1. A piece of wood, usually long and slender, pointed at one
end so as to be easily driven into the ground as a support
or stay; as, a stake to support vines, fences, hedges,
A sharpened stake strong Dryas found. --Dryden.
2. A stick inserted upright in a loop, eye, or mortise, at
the side or end of a cart, a flat car, or the like, to
prevent goods from falling off.
3. The piece of timber to which a martyr was affixed to be
burned; hence, martyrdom by fire.
4. A small anvil usually furnished with a tang to enter a
hole in a bench top, -- used by tinsmiths, blacksmiths,
etc., for light work, punching upon, etc.
5. That which is laid down as a wager; that which is staked
or hazarded; a pledge.
6. (Mormon Ch.) A territorial division; -- called also stake
Every city, or "stake," including a chief town and
surrounding towns, has its president, with two
counselors; and this president has a high council of
chosen men. --Schaff-Herzog
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
At stake, in danger; hazarded; pledged. "I see my
reputation is at stake." --Shak.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adv 1: in question or at issue; "there is more at stake than
2: to be won or lost; at risk; "perhaps a million dollars are at