at stake

Idioms & Phrases

at stake

At risk to be won or lost, as in We have a great deal at stake in this transaction. This phrase uses stake in the sense of something that is wagered. Shakespeare used it in Troilus and Cressida (3:3): "I see my reputation is at stake." [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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