1 [seyk]
cause, account, interest, or benefit: for the sake of all students.
purpose or end: for the sake of appearances.

before 900; Middle English; Old English sacu lawsuit, cause; cognate with German Sache thing, Old Norse sǫk lawsuit; akin to seek

1. regard, consideration, respect. 2. reason. Unabridged


2 [sah-kee]
a Japanese fermented, mildly alcoholic beverage made from rice.
Also, saké, saki.

1680–90; < Japanese sake(y), earlier *sakai Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sake1 (seɪk)
1.  benefit or interest (esp in the phrase for (someone'sorone's own) sake)
2.  the purpose of obtaining or achieving (esp in the phrase for the sake of (something))
3.  used in various exclamations of impatience, urgency, etc: for heaven's sake; for pete's sake
[C13 (in the phrase for the sake of, probably from legal usage): from Old English sacu lawsuit (hence, a cause); related to Old Norse sok, German Sache matter]

sake, saké or saki2 (ˈsækɪ)
a Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice
[C17: from Japanese]
saké, saké or saki2
[C17: from Japanese]
saki, saké or saki2
[C17: from Japanese]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  sake
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See rice wine's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin & History

"purpose," O.E. sacu "a cause at law, crime, dispute, guilt," from P.Gmc. *sako "affair, thing, charge, accusation" (cf. O.N. sök "charge, lawsuit, effect, cause," O.Fris. seke "strife, dispute, matter, thing," Du. zaak, Ger. sache "thing, matter, affair, cause"), from PIE base *sag- "to investigate"
(cf. O.E. secan, Goth. sokjan "to seek;" see seek). Much of the word's original meaning has been taken over by case, cause, and it survives largely in phrases for the sake of (early 13c.) and for _______'s sake (c.1300, originally for God's sake), both probably are from O.N., as these forms have not been found in O.E.

"Japanese rice liquor," 1687, from Japanese sake, lit. "alcohol."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see for the sake of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Research that involves animal suffering needs to be done for a better reason
  than the sake of doing research.
It's almost impossible to define the typical sake spot in town.
For many, education for education's sake no longer cuts it.
Geography is for life and not simply an exercise for its own sake.
Idioms & Phrases
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