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[seyk] /seɪk/
cause, account, interest, or benefit:
for the sake of all students.
purpose or end:
for the sake of appearances.
Origin of sake1
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.


or saké, saki

[sah-kee] /ˈsɑ ki/
a Japanese fermented, mildly alcoholic beverage made from rice.
1680-90; < Japanese sake(y), earlier *sakai Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sake
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You must marry, therefore, if not for your own sake, for the sake of your mother and sisters.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • For his sake, I am glad once more to be in my own happy home.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • "For Lucy's sake we ought to be firm," continued Mrs. Merriman.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • "It is partly for your sake that I wish it, my poor child," said he.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • When I am dead, papa, then you will think of me, and do it for my sake.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
British Dictionary definitions for sake


benefit or interest (esp in the phrase for (someone's or one's own) sake)
the purpose of obtaining or achieving (esp in the phrase for the sake of (something))
used in various exclamations of impatience, urgency, etc: for heaven's sake, for pete's sake
Word Origin
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


a Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice
Word Origin
C17: from Japanese
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for sake

See rice wine's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for sake

"purpose," Old English sacu "a cause at law, crime, dispute, guilt," from Proto-Germanic *sako "affair, thing, charge, accusation" (cf. Old Norse sök "charge, lawsuit, effect, cause," Old Frisian seke "strife, dispute, matter, thing," Dutch zaak "lawsuit, cause, sake, thing," German sache "thing, matter, affair, cause"), from PIE root *sag- "to investigate, seek out" (cf. Old English secan, Gothic sokjan "to seek;" see seek).

Much of the word's original meaning has been taken over by case (n.1), cause (n.), 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 Norse, as these forms have not been found in Old English.

"Japanese rice liquor," 1680s, from Japanese sake, literally "alcohol."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with sake


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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