at stake

at stake


  • It means to be on wager or bet, when there is some sort of uncertainty.
  • It is usually referred to money but in the current times the important aspects can all be at stake. For example a person’s reputation, assets and even relationships.

Example Sentences

  1. You needn’t have all your money at stake in the share market, it is better to diversify.
  2. She has to manage getting the contract this time since her job is at stake if she fails.

In 1948, GB Harrison edited the complete work of Shakespeare. In a particular part within the appendix 5, there is a detailed description of a form of entertainment from the era which involved a tussle between a bear and dogs. People would place bets on the killings of the dogs or how long the bear would be able to sustain. This was the first usage of money being “at stake”. It has since been used in many literature reviews. Currently the scope of the phrase is more than what is started out as and is used in common parlance.

A 1 Thought

1 Thought

I wondered about the origin of modern “…at stake” while reading in Hamlet: “… but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honour’s at the stake”, and wether Shakespear may be it. Might yet be, as he seems to have taken it from his observance of the bear being bated by the dogs. As far as I know these bears were tied to stakes?

- Barend August 25, 2016

Add your thoughts

Idiom of the Day

put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on


Like Facebook Page

Latest Thoughts

Keep in Touch

Copyrights © 2021 - The Idioms - All Rights Reserved.
Copy Link