- 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.
- You needn’t have all your money at stake in the share market, it is better to diversify.
- 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.