If you have a stake in something, it is important to you because you have a personal interest or involvement in it:
 

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used in the names of horse races in which the prize money is provided by all the owners of the horses that are competing in the race
The prime minister is not very high in the popularity stakes (= he is not very popular) at the moment.
The stakes are pushed or hammered into the ground and can be used for supporting a plant or forming part of a fence.

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a share in something, esp. a financial share in a business, or an emotional investment in something:
a thick, strong, pointed wood or metal pole pushed into the ground and used to mark a spot or to support something:
the amount that someone has invested in a company, often expressed as a percentage of the total share capital (= money invested in a business in the form of shares):
have/hold/own a stake (in sth) The Chief Executive has a controlling stake in the company worth €58m.
All three officials have a personal stake in the President"s re-election as it would allow them to keep their jobs.
Given the high stakes for both hardware makers and software suppliers, neither side is likely to give up easily.
if something like money, a job, or someone"s reputation is at stake, it is in danger of being lost because of a particular situation:
stake a claim to/for/on sth Various countries are trying to stake their claims to the oil under the polar ice cap.
Numerous political parties have gained representation, and they all have a stake in the survival of the regime.
Secondly, the spatial distribution of stakes may not be sufficient to characterise the dependence of mass balance on elevation.
The interpretative difficulties of these reversions are heightened as soon as we acknowledge that there was more than a fictional character at stake.
These questions, of course, already are widely debated in the media, and interest groups already are staking out their positions.
Thus, one wonders whether persons with key responsibilities for household welfare are aware of what is at stake in debates about macro-economic reform.
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