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stake someone or something out
1. to position a person so that someone or something can be observed or followed. The cops staked the car out and made the arrest. Barlowe staked out the apartment building and watched patiently for an hour.
2. to position a person to observe someone or something. He staked his best operative out in front of the building. We staked out two men to keep watch.
stake somebody outalso stake out somebody
watch someone, often secretly A television news crew staked her out from a next-door neighbor's yard. For a week, police staked out the suspect.
stake out something
1. to claim something belongs to you To avoid a long wait to eat lunch, one of you stakes out a table and the other gets the food. Lars staked out a cot in a third-floor bedroom and tried to make it seem like his own space.
2. to secretly watch a place Private detectives staked out their house, went through their garbage, and interviewed their neighbors.
Keep an area or person under police surveillance; also, assign someone to conduct such a surveillance. For example, They staked out the house, or He was staked out in the alley, watching for drug dealers. [c. 1940]
1. To mark the location or limits of something with or as if with stakes: We walked the boundary of the property and staked it out with orange flags. Pioneers raced to stake out a claim in the new territory.
2. To claim something as one's own: We ran ahead of the others to stake out a campsite. The new executive staked a place out in the organization as a technology expert.
3. To keep someone or something under surveillance: The police staked out the suspect's house. They staked the car out until the owner showed up.