stake a claim

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stake a claim

To assert one's ownership of or right to something. You can't use this set of skis because someone else already staked a claim to them.
See also: claim, stake

stake a claim

Also, stake out a claim. Indicate something as one's own, as in I'm staking a claim to the drumstick, or She staked out a claim for herself in the insurance business. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, originally meant "register a claim to land by marking it with stakes." It was being used figuratively by the late 1800s.
See also: claim, stake