American Dictionary of the English Language

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STAKE, noun [The primary sense is to shoot, to thrust, hence to set or fix.]

1. A small piece of wood or timber, sharpened at one end and set in the ground, or prepared for setting, as a support to something. Thus stakes are used to support vines, to support fences, hedges and the like. A stake is not to be confounded with a post, which is a larger piece of timber.

2. A piece of long rough wood.

A sharpend stake strong Dryas found.

3. A palisade, or something resembling it.

4. The piece of timber to which a martyr is fastened when he is to be burnt. Hence, to perish at the stake is to die a martyr, or to die in torment. Hence,

5. Figuratively, martyrdom. The stake was prepared for those who were convicted of heresy.

6. That which is pledged and wagered; that which is set, thrown down or laid, to abide the issue of a contest, to be gained by victory or lost by defeat.

7. The state of being laid or pledged as a wager. His honor is at stake

8. A small anvil to straighten cold word, or to cut and punch upon.

STAKE, verb transitive

1. To fasten, support or defend with stakes; as, to stake vines or plants.

2. To mark the limits by stakes; with out; as, to stake out land; to stake out a new road, or the ground for a canal.

3. To wager; to pledge; to put at hazard upon the issue of competition, or upon a future contingency.

Ill stake yon lamb that near the fountain plays.

4. To point or sharpen stakes. [Not used in America.]

5. To pierce with a stake