| #3 (permalink) Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:29 am What does 'at stake' mean? Is it an idiom?
|at stake -Idiom
that can be won or lost, depending on the success of a particular action
We cannot afford to take risks when people's lives are at stake.
The prize at stake is a place in the final.
1 [countable] a wooden or metal post that is pointed at one end and pushed into the ground in order to support something, mark a particular place, etc
Tall plants can be secured by tying them to stakes.
2 the stake [singular] a wooden post that somebody could be tied to in former times before being burnt to death (= killed by fire) as a punishment
Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.
3 [countable] money that somebody invests in a company
a 20% stake in the business
a controlling/majority/minority stake
4 [singular] stake in something an important part or share in a business, plan, etc. that is important to you and that you want to be successful
She has a personal stake in the success of the play.
Many young people no longer feel they have a stake in society.
5 [countable] something that you risk losing, especially money, when you try to predict the result of a race, game, etc, or when you are involved in an activity that can succeed or fail
How much was the stake (= how much did you bet)?
They were playing cards for high stakes (= a lot of money).
With only two points separating the top five players, the stakes are high as they enter the final round.
6 stakes [plural] the money that is paid to the winners in horse racing
7 stakes [uncountable] used in the names of some horse races
go to the stake over/for something
to be prepared to do anything in order to defend your opinions or beliefs
He would have gone to the stake for his belief in his daughter's innocence.
in the… stakes
used to say how much of a particular quality a person has, as if they were in a competition in which some people are more successful than others
John doesn't do too well in the personality stakes.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
I'm a Communicator ;-)
Joined: 26 Nov 2009