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See also: ale-stake



ale +‎ stake


alestake (plural alestakes)

  1. (historical) A stake or pole serving as a sign at an alehouse, often with a garland or "bush" attached.
    Chaucer, "Prologue", Canterbury Tales
    And knew hir conseil, and was al hir reed.
    A gerland hadde he set upon his heed
    As greet as it were for an ale-stake;
    A bokeleer hadde he maad him of a cake.

Usage notes[edit]

The alestake of medieval taverns was mounted horizontally from the wall of the building.[1] The term is not in current use. Modern aleposts can be set vertically in the ground or be attached horizontally to the pub and carry a painted sign rather than a garland.

Alternative forms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for alestake in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


  1. ^ Walter William Skeat, Chaucer's Works, notes on the prologue to the Cantebury Tales.