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1. To mark the boundary of an area with or as if with stakes. He staked out the area of the field that we could use for our crops. Please stake out the part of the lawn you'd like sprayed for weeds.
2. To claim or reserve something or some area for oneself. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stake" and "out." Why don't you go in ahead of us and stake out a few seats in the theater? Dad's going to stake a spot out for us on the field to watch the fireworks.
3. To keep someone or something under close surveillance or observation. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stake" and "out." We've been staking out this drug dealer for months to try to get some concrete evidence. I think the cops are staking your house out, dude.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
stake someone/something out
1. tv. to position a person so that someone or something can be observed or followed. Marlowe staked out the apartment building and watched patiently for an hour.
2. tv. to position a person to observe someone or something. We staked out two men to keep watch.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.