Definition of take in English:

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Pronunciation: /teɪk/

verb (past took /tʊk/; past participle taken /ˈteɪk(ə)n/)

[with object]
1Lay hold of (something) with one’s hands; reach for and hold: he leaned forward to take her hand
More example sentences
  • Lacey reached forward and took it, her eyes briefly skimming over the first few pages.
  • As she reached over to take my tray, she frowned then squinted at a glinting object in the seat in front of me.
  • My mother was reaching out and nervously taking Zachary's hand after my father had released grip of it.
lay hold of, take hold of, get hold of, get into one's hands;
grasp, grip, clasp, clutch, grab
1.1Capture or gain possession of by force or military means: twenty of their ships were sunk or taken the French took Ghent
More example sentences
  • The victims had been removed from a hospital by members of a Yugoslav army force which had taken Vukovar.
  • The Soviet forces took more than 30,000 Romanian prisoners and all their equipment.
  • After the German armies took Prague, Hájek was forced to work for the German armament industry.
capture, seize, catch, take captive, arrest, apprehend, take into custody;
trap, snare
1.2(In bridge, whist, and similar card games) win (a trick): West leads a club enabling his partner to take three tricks in the suit
More example sentences
  • If the declarer succeeds in taking no tricks, the defenders are not penalized.
  • However, some play that the declarer who takes 8 or more tricks wins nothing at all.
  • Next, if declarer has taken fewer than 6 tricks he pays a penalty of 20 units to the pot.
1.3 Chess Capture (an opposing piece or pawn): Black takes the rook with his bishop
More example sentences
  • If the black king takes the rook, black loses the queen.
1.4 Cricket Dismiss a batsman from (his wicket): he took seven wickets in the second innings
More example sentences
  • It was the sixth time in eight innings that he has taken Lara's wicket.
  • I see that Shane Warne has taken more wickets in Tests than in other first-class matches.
  • He took Bradman's wicket on five of the 13 occasions it fell in Tests when they both played.
1.5Dispossess someone of (something); steal or illicitly remove: someone must have sneaked in here and taken it
More example sentences
  • There always has to be somebody in the tent to prevent thieves from taking the paltry property they have left.
  • Alarms can deter thieves from not only stealing your van, but also taking items from within it.
  • Jack is a thief, he takes one card from the top of your opponent's deck and adds it to your hand.
steal, remove, appropriate, misappropriate, make off with, pilfer, purloin, abstract, dispossess someone of
informal filch, pinch, swipe, nick, snaffle, walk off with
rare peculate
1.6Occupy (a place or position): we found that all the seats were taken
More example sentences
  • When it arises as the first branch, it takes the place usually occupied by the brachiocephalic.
  • I presented my paper at the first session and, relieved it was over, took the nearest free seat.
  • Lone riders can walk straight to the front of the queue and take the first available seats.
occupy, use, utilize, fill, hold;
reserve, engage
informal bag
sit down, sit, seat oneself, settle (oneself), install oneself, plant oneself, ensconce oneself, plump oneself down, plop oneself down;
flump, perch
informal take a pew, plonk oneself down
1.7Rent (a house): they decided to take a small house in the country
More example sentences
  • After Nelson's victory at Copenhagen, she considered taking a London house again but feared the expense.
rent, lease, hire, charter;
reserve, book, make a reservation for, arrange for, engage
1.8Agree to buy (an item): I’ll take the one on the end
More example sentences
  • He has agreed to take a total of 48 and they are currently arriving in batches.
1.9 (be taken) humorous (Of a person) already be married or in an emotional relationship.
Example sentences
  • But the idea of hugging a man who was already taken was a bad idea to her so she didn't hug him.
  • I lost my chance at that and every good looking guy here is already taken.
1.10 [in imperative] Use or have ready to use: take half the marzipan and roll out
More example sentences
  • Take half the sugar, half the cream and half the butter and combine with the dark chocolate in a good, thick-bottomed pan.
  • Perhaps take a very tiny amount of the ashes and sprinkle it in kitty's food or water.
  • My father would take a knife, reach up and disembowel the animal with a few flicks of his wrist.
1.11 [usually in imperative] Use as an instance or example in support of an argument: let’s take Napoleon, for instance
More example sentences
  • To take only one example, the CWI used Youth Against Racism in Europe in much the same way.
  • Just take for example, you and I were at a party and we had a bit of an argument and it got a little bit out of hand.
  • Another example we might take is the fact that human beings have hearts on the left of their bodies.
1.12British Regularly buy or subscribe to (a particular newspaper or periodical).
Example sentences
  • I took the magazine for a year but did not renew it.
subscribe to, pay a subscription to, buy regularly, read regularly, read every day/week/month
1.13Ascertain by measurement or observation: the nurse takes my blood pressure
More example sentences
  • The nurse takes the child's vital signs and assesses his or her oral cavity for any excessive bleeding.
  • It appears that measurements had been taken but not submitted at the previous hearing.
  • Mr Murphy said they agreed it was a nuisance and were due to return to take further measurements.
ascertain, determine, establish, measure, find out, discover;
calculate, compute, count, quantify, evaluate, rate, assess, appraise, gauge
1.14Write down: he was taking notes
More example sentences
  • In an ideal world it would also link to the collaborative Hydra notes that were taken for pretty much every session.
  • Kathy took a few more notes before watching the interviews from the back of the room.
  • By taking notes he wanted Sydney to write down all the important parts and help him make a decision.
1.15Make (a photograph) with a camera: he stopped to take a snap
More example sentences
  • In police custody, his solicitors came with a digital camera and took nineteen photographs of his injuries.
  • Mo came round today with her digital camera and took a photograph of what will probably be my image on the publicity.
  • As an additional safeguard, the firearm also contains a tiny camera which takes a photograph every time it is fired.
1.16(Especially of illness) suddenly strike or afflict (someone): mum’s been taken bad
More example sentences
  • Garret Westerfield was taken with a seizure or fit.
1.17Have sexual intercourse with.
Example sentences
  • He took her violently and they shook and trembled as they came together.
2 [with object and adverbial of direction] Remove (someone or something) from a particular place: he took an envelope from his inside pocket the police took him away
More example sentences
  • Stagecoach staff managed to stop him driving off and the police came to take him away in a van.
  • Travis reached up and took the flower from my mouth and dropped it on the floor carelessly.
  • He reaches out and takes the pins from her hair, so it loosens in sections, unfolding around her.
remove, pull, draw, withdraw, extract, fish;
confiscate, take possession of
2.1Subtract: take two from ten add the numbers together and take away five
More example sentences
  • Take two from four, how many are left?
  • I have eighteen cents and take away five cents to buy a 'scratch-book,' and have thirteen.
subtract, deduct, remove, take away/off;
informal knock off, minus
3 [with object and usually with adverbial] Carry or bring with one; convey: he took along a portfolio of his drawings the drive takes you through some wonderful scenery [with two objects]: I took him a letter
More example sentences
  • Donations of items to sell can be taken along, or if they are too large call in to arrange collection.
  • An ambulance was called and Mr Greally was taken to York Hospital and later transferred to Leeds.
  • They should be taken into the house about the beginning of November and wintered on hay and a few turnips at each end of the day.
3.1Accompany or guide (someone) to a specified place: I’ll take you to your room
More example sentences
  • His guide took him to visit a forest tribe said to have stopped eating human flesh only five years previously.
  • Later the guide takes us to a souvenir shop run by a friend of his.
  • Our guides then took us to a creek that was said to be one of the hardest in Norway.
escort, accompany, help, assist, show, lead, show someone the way, lead the way, conduct, guide, see, usher, steer, pilot, shepherd, convey
3.2Bring into a specified state: the invasion took Europe to the brink of war
More example sentences
  • The Nazi regime had taken Germany to war in 1939 and Siegel felt that he could no longer remain in his native land.
  • They have ridden out the troubles once before and they are determined to do the same again, but this time by taking City into Division Two.
  • Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see George Street being taken to new heights.
3.3Use as a route or a means of transport: take the A43 towards Bicester we took the night train to Scotland
More example sentences
  • They took my 1996 route to the pub, I beat them with my new one, and we had a nice drink in the sunshine.
  • They take the shortest possible route but do not know the height of their vehicle.
  • Schoolchildren were instead taking a longer route via Leigh Road and Chestnut Avenue.
travel on, travel by, journey on, go via;
use, make use of, utilize
4Accept or receive (someone or something): she was advised to take any job offered they don’t take children
More example sentences
  • We readily accepted, and took delivery of the pilot showreel the next day for an internal focus group.
  • If they offered you the Irish manager's job would you take it, I ask mischievously.
  • McCarthy is a good manager, in my opinion, much better now that when he took the job six years ago.
receive, obtain, gain, get, acquire, collect, accept, be given, be presented with, be awarded, have conferred on one;
informal land, bag, net, scoop, cop
4.1Understand or accept as valid: I take your point
More example sentences
  • I take your point, and agree somewhat, but disagree somewhat.
understand, grasp, get, comprehend, apprehend, see, follow, take in;
accept, appreciate, accept/acknowledge/admit the validity of, recognize, sympathize with, agree with
4.2Acquire or assume (a position, state, or form): teaching methods will take various forms he took office in September
More example sentences
  • With that the ascent was started - initially Rich leading and then myself taking the poll position.
  • With the wind, Pocklington took a seventh minute lead through Kevin Bowling's long penalty.
  • In any case, Coyle's men did take a first minute lead with Dens defender Bobby Mann at fault.
derive, draw, acquire, obtain, get, gain, extract, procure;
experience, undergo, feel, encounter, know, come into contact with, face
4.3Receive (a specified amount of money) as payment or earnings: on its first day of trading the shop took 1.6 million roubles
More example sentences
  • What would you say if I told you that the video game industry takes in more money per year than the movie entertainment business?
  • That means that the government spends less money than it takes in and applies the surplus to the NIB.
  • It means they can respond quickly to calls, and drivers can take more money with fewer dead miles between jobs.
4.4Achieve or attain (a victory or result): John Martin took the men’s title
More example sentences
  • No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio; Democrats have only done so twice.
  • Both campaigns believe that whoever wins two out of the three will probably take the White House.
  • No Republican president has ever made it to the White House without taking Ohio.
4.5Act on (an opportunity): he took his chance to get out while the house was quiet
More example sentences
  • My good friend has taken a rather splendid opportunity at work.
  • For Oxford is a place of seemingly endless opportunities that should be taken and not put off for the sake of your degree.
  • He accepted the challenge and took his chances and the shots went in.
act on, take advantage of, capitalize on, use, exploit, make the most of, leap at, jump on, pounce on, seize (on), grasp, grab, snatch, accept, put to advantage, profit from, turn to account, cash in on
4.6Experience or be affected by: the lad took a savage beating
More example sentences
  • He has not stopped scoring since and all this after taking a 75 per cent pay cut when he moved to Hanover.
  • To answer the first question we have to ask ourselves who actually takes offence at receiving Christmas cards?
  • But the slight decline in revenue is good news compared to the loss Sun took in the quarter.
4.7 [with object and adverbial] React to or regard (news or an event) in a specified way: she took the news well everything you say, he takes it the wrong way
More example sentences
  • Judging by fans who spoke to the newspaper, the news is not being taken well.
  • Defeat was taken with dignity.
  • Those of us with a cynical bent can all too well imagine how this proposal is being taken in the White House.
4.8 [with object and adverbial] Deal with (a physical obstacle or course) in a specified way: he takes the corners with no concern for his own safety
More example sentences
  • And then the K1200S takes the corners, like no other bike I’ve ridden.
4.9Regard or view in a specified way: he somehow took it as a personal insult [with object and infinitive]: I fell over what I took to be a heavy branch
More example sentences
  • Seen from a distance, such armed bands were often taken for brigands themselves, and so the panic spread.
  • I'd advice you take everything I write with a pinch of salt anyway, so to speak.
  • Don't take anything that Gibson wrote about as gospel on what Voudoun is about.
regard as, consider to be, view as, look on as, see as, believe to be, think of as, reckon to be, imagine to be, deem to be, hold to be, judge to be
4.10 (be taken by/with) Be attracted or charmed by: Billie was very taken with him
More example sentences
  • Elter is taken with the action of Love's Labours Lost, wherein a group of nobles swear off wine, women, and all pleasure in order to pursue their studies.
  • There were two students at that class I was taken with, one a girl and one a guy.
  • Roger doesn't notice this, but is taken with how much Carolyn wants to keep David around.
please, amuse, divert, entertain, gladden, satisfy, gratify
informal tickle someone pink, tickle someone's fancy
4.11Submit to, tolerate, or endure: they refused to take it any more some people found her hard to take
More example sentences
  • It has been three years of patiently taking rejection, accepting smaller parts, non-speaking roles.
  • She was so sucked into her own lies she took the abuse and accepted it as a way of life.
  • I have always advocated that players must stand up and take criticism and accept that.
endure, bear, suffer, tolerate, stand, put up with, stomach, brook, abide, carry, submit to, accept, permit, allow, admit, countenance, support, shoulder;
Scottish  thole
4.12 (take it) [with clause] Assume: I take it that someone is coming to meet you
More example sentences
  • Can I take it that you felt you had assumed a huge responsibility in taking on this awesome story?
  • By rediscuss, I take it to mean that we're discussing what the salary & benefits would be.
  • In this particular case, in London, I take it, none of these guys left any indication.
5Consume as food, drink, medicine, or drugs: take an aspirin and lie down
More example sentences
  • When he got caught taking other drugs they would increase his methadone script so that he didn't need any other drugs.
  • This comes down to your personal choice and drugs education, if you take these harder drugs.
  • She would say that she wanted to get away from the life but the drugs she took controlled everything.
drink, imbibe;
consume, swallow, eat, ingest
6Make, undertake, or perform (an action or task): Lucy took a deep breath the key decisions are still to be taken
More example sentences
  • So as I opened up a new packet of crayons for my son, I held them up to my nose and took a long deep breath.
  • Then they took a mock written driving test, which everyone tried his or her best in.
  • The key stage three English test is the final key stage test, and is taken by 14-year-olds.
6.1Conduct (a ceremony or gathering).
Example sentences
  • Additionally, once you elect to take a meeting our online scheduling software eliminates the frustrations of e-mail and telephone.
6.2Be taught or examined in (a subject): some degrees require a student to take a secondary subject
More example sentences
  • If you have friends taking the same subject you could always have an informal chat about an aspect of the subject with your friends.
  • These can be taken in place of subjects such as history, geography and modern languages.
  • They were in medieval French, a subject she had never taken at school.
study, learn, be taught, have lessons in;
read up on, work at, apply oneself to, acquire a knowledge of, gain an understanding of, grasp, master;
take up, pursue;
British  read
informal do
6.3British Obtain (an academic degree) after fulfilling the required conditions: she took a degree in business studies
More example sentences
  • It first became an issue for Mr Dixon when he was taking a Fine Arts degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • In order to take the higher degree they have to give up their existing job.
7Require or use up (a specified amount of time): the jury took an hour and a half to find McPherson guilty [with two objects]: it takes me about a quarter of an hour to walk to work
More example sentences
  • His pleas fell on deaf ears as the jury took less than an hour to find him guilty.
  • The jury took less than an hour to come to a unanimous decision - insane, unfit to plead.
  • The jury took just over two hours to return a majority verdict of death by natural causes contributed by neglect.
last, continue for, go on for, carry on for, keep on for, run on for, endure for;
require, call for, need, necessitate, entail, involve
7.1(Of a task or situation) need or call for (a particular person or thing): it will take an electronics expert to dismantle it
More example sentences
  • This task takes time and energy - it should not be done in its entirety after a long day at work.
  • Installing a heat sink inside the case takes some true flexibility of the fingers.
  • Unfortunately it does take an Einstein to understand what you are entitled to.
7.2Hold; accommodate: an exclusive island hideaway that takes just twenty guests
More example sentences
  • The boat takes twenty guests.
  • We intend to buy fertilised eggs - the incubator we have bought takes 24 hen eggs but we might start with 12.
7.3Wear or require (a particular size of garment or type of complementary article): he only takes size 5 boots
More example sentences
  • Second, he probably no more knows what size the child takes, any more than he knows how to crochet.
  • The reason I bought it was because my digital camera takes two AA batteries.
wear, habitually wear, use;
require, need, be fitted by, fit
8 [no object] (Of a plant or seed) take root or begin to grow; germinate: the fuchsia cuttings had taken and were looking good
More example sentences
  • The grass has taken and was long and wet in the morning and was full of snails sucking to thick blades.
8.1(Of an added substance) become successfully established: these type of grafts take much better than other xenografts
More example sentences
  • However unfortunately in the first attempt, the embryo did not take and did not grow.
be effective, have/take effect, take hold, take root, be efficacious, be productive, be in force, be in operation, be efficient, be effectual, be useful;
work, operate, succeed, function
9 Grammar Have or require as part of the appropriate construction: verbs which take both the infinitive and the finite clause as their object
More example sentences
  • There is no infallible rule identifying the verbs that take both, but they generally form nouns in tion.
  • However, some transitive verbs take a prepositional phrase instead of an indirect object.
  • For example, the open command takes as an argument the name of the file containing the data.


1A scene or sequence of sound or vision photographed or recorded continuously at one time: he completed a particularly difficult scene in two takes
More example sentences
  • I wanted to keep cool throughout the take and not show that my foot was caught.
  • I think it was totally different to any animation movie I have seen before, it was another type of take.
  • When one of them kisses Robbie a little too passionately, Tasha yells out and ruins a take.
scene, sequence, filmed sequence, clip, part, segment
1.1A particular version of or approach to something: his own whimsical take on life
More example sentences
  • He is obviously having fun with his take on a midwestern everyman, but make no mistake, it is a take and little more.
  • His new takes on the classic tales made us laugh out loud at more than one bedtime.
  • The main problem with his take on the story is his overwhelming niceness as a director.
view of, reading of, version of, interpretation of, understanding of, account of, explanation of, analysis of, approach to
2An amount of something gained or acquired from one source or in one session: the take from commodity taxation
More example sentences
  • You encourage as many sites as possible to shove up ads in exchange for a take of any revenue driven by those ads.
catch, haul, bag, yield, net
revenue, income, gain, profit, money received, payments received;
Sport  gate money, purse
British informal bunce
2.1chiefly US The money received at a cinema or theatre for seats.
Example sentences
  • Die Another Day opened over the weekend with the biggest take ever for a Bond film.
3 Printing An amount of copy set up at one time or by one compositor.
Example sentences
  • When a compositor had set up his take he deposited the type set up by him on a galley upon the galley-bank, and deposited the copy from which he had set up the type in a drawer or box, or upon a table or shelf.



be on the take

informal Take bribes: he may be county sheriff, but he’s on the take
More example sentences
  • Spain's government is under mounting pressure from opposition politicians in Parliament who want to know whether Spanish officials also were on the take.
  • They made no secret of the fact that they were on the take.
  • For years now we have listened to and read about one inquiry after another, about this politician and that politician who was on the take.

be taken ill

Become ill suddenly.
Example sentences
  • Derek was taken ill suddenly in The Caribbean Islands where he was performing as part of an entertainment special on board a cruise ship.
  • He was a youthful 70 years old and appeared fit and healthy and indeed was taken ill and died suddenly while playing a game of golf on Monday.
  • All proceeds from the event will go to St Mary's Hospice, where Mr Bolton was cared for after suddenly being taken ill in September 2003 with a cancerous brain tumour.

have what it takes

informal Have the necessary qualities for success: for those who have what it takes, early responsibility will bring job satisfaction
More example sentences
  • This term will include the achievements of women, that is they are successful and have what it takes to make it in the modern world today.
  • They seem to have what it takes to be successful, it will be interesting to see if and how they develop.
  • But he is confident he has what it takes to be a successful manager and it will be in the track suit on the training ground where he will make his biggest impact.

take advantage of (or take advice etc.)

see advantage, advice, etc.

take something as read

see read.
Example sentences
  • I took it as read that she, like everyone else round here, must be a true-blue Democrat.

take a chair (or seat)

Sit down.
Example sentences
  • The smile refusing to leave my face, I obediently led my friend into the living room, where the two of us stepped over the discarded scouting reports and each took a chair.
  • Nezbek walked into the main room and took a chair.
  • Isis then stepped down from the platform and took a chair near it, where she could still see the whole Council but she was no longer the center of attention.

take five

informal, chiefly North American Have a short break: there was a newsreel crew taking five at a little café nearby
More example sentences
  • F has now gone and I am just taking five to chill again before commencing more bagging/boxing!
  • Sometimes it's obvious that everyone took five and smoked a joint the size of a rolled-up Sunday New York Times.
  • Whatever you said to them can come in and there's just a minefield of things, if you actually wanted to represent this low-life that you tell him to go ahead take five.

take a lot of (or some) ——

Be difficult to do or effect in the specified way: he might take some convincing
More example sentences
  • It took some convincing (and maybe a bribe), but he agreed to come home to see the girls and his grandchildren.
  • In the beginning it did take some getting used to.
  • With just four trains an hour and only one route home it's taken some getting used to.

take someone in hand

Undertake to control or reform someone.
Example sentences
  • If she is not taken in hand and directed on the right lines, hers could be a talent that is, wasted in the desert air.
  • I suppose your mother who was alerted at that stage was more capable of taking you in hand because the situation around her wasn't as toxic as it is now?
  • But all I really want them to do is to take me in hand - to quietly and firmly and with tremendous affection tell me that I've done enough, that I can stop now.
control, have authority over, be in charge of, direct, preside over, lead, dominate, master;
reform, improve, correct, change, make better, rehabilitate

take something in hand

Start doing or dealing with a task.
Example sentences
  • Fortunately, the Capitol Hill police, who seemed interested in order above all, took matters in hand, and after we'd preached for the cameras they marched us into the rotunda for an on-time arrest.
  • It was then Mattie Kiely took matters in hand for Kilrossanty and points in the 56th and 59th minutes had the Nire reeling.
  • But let's not be taken back by that factor because it was back in the 1980s when Fr. Peyton, C.C., took the matter in hand during his days in Tubber and set up the first Tidy Towns Committee.
deal with, apply oneself to, address oneself to, get to grips with, get stuck into, busy oneself with, set one's hand to, grapple with, take on, attend to, see to, sort out, take care of, pursue, handle, manage;
formal commence

take ill (US sick)

informal Become ill, especially suddenly.
Example sentences
  • Albert, formerly from Knockroe, Mayo Abbey took ill and died suddenly while working in the Manchester region.
  • Paul was out walking on Kiltimagh mountain with friends from St. John's Western Care Centre, Ballinamore when he took ill and died suddenly.
  • Some hours later Martin took ill and died suddenly.

take something ill

archaic Resent something done or said: there was no point in calling her attention to the implications of her statement, she would only take it ill
More example sentences
  • So I stand and watch ball after ball whistle past my outstretched hand and, try as I might, I take it ill to see him running about like a dive bomber, whooping and hollering.
  • I hope you will not take it ill that I asked my son about your doings, we tell each other everything.

take it from me

I can assure you: take it from me, kid—I’ve been there, done it, seen it all
More example sentences
  • You can take it from me: Jack will not be happy about it.
  • If you've never seen it, take it from me: it's no joke.
  • Don't take it from me though - I'm just one person.

take it on one (or oneself) to do something

Decide to do something without asking for permission or advice: she had taken it on herself to rearrange all the furniture in the sitting room
More example sentences
  • He even sometimes read petitions from individual prisoners, taking it on himself to decide whether to release them.
  • Roth thought, ‘How could I take it on myself to decide that my father should be finished with life, life which is ours to know just once?’
  • Edward decided to take it on himself to rid Ralph's house of Alex.

take it or leave it

[usually in imperative] Said to express that the offer one has made is not negotiable and that one is indifferent to another’s reaction to it: that’s the deal—take it or leave it
More example sentences
  • This looks like an opening gambit rather than a take it or leave it offer.
  • We have already been told that the moving of the market and interchange are not negotiable and that, in effect, we can either take it or leave it.
  • Would they tell them to take it or leave it, this is what we offer?

take it out of

1Exhaust the strength of (someone): parties and tours can take it out of you, especially if you are over 65
More example sentences
  • Every so often we would try to get them to come out of their rooms, but they were exhausted - it really took it out of them.
  • That really took it out of me; I felt exhausted afterwards.
  • I was traveling from the North West of the City to the East End by bus and I think that took it out of me a lot.
2British Take reprisals against.
Example sentences
  • Schools are doing their bit, and one of the several antics at Biddenham Upper School was an opportunity to take it out of four brave teachers - at 25p a go.
  • He took it out of Kuwait in 1991, and we made him spit it out.

take someone out of themselves

Make a person forget their worries.
Example sentences
  • It takes them out of themselves, and gives them a thrill.

take that!

Exclaimed when hitting someone or taking decisive action against them: You lowlifes! Take that! And that! And that!
More example sentences
  • I cried, beginning to climb back onto the island, ‘take that!’

take one's time

Not hurry: take your time if you’re planning a big job
More example sentences
  • You Taurans like taking your time and hate being hurried, but right now Mars and Venus don't want you bogged down and stuck in a rut through some stubborn refusal to change your ways.
  • Dominic had never been one to hurry, and he took his time as he considered.
  • It is not comely and not of their nature for Goths to hurry, so Morgan takes her time, making sure she is last to get up and leave.
go slowly, not hurry, be leisurely, proceed in a leisurely fashion, dally, dawdle, delay, linger, go at a snail's pace, drag one's feet, waste time, while away time, kill time
informal dilly-dally
archaic or literary tarry

Phrasal verbs


take after

Resemble (a parent or ancestor): the rest of us take after our mother
More example sentences
  • May you take after your wonderful parents, and my treasured friends who share your name.
  • Aikane, who seemed to take after neither parent and yet fitted in perfectly with the family, was the sweetest, most genuine person Kai knew.
  • The rest of us took after our grandmother's people, the recipients of a strong gene of predictable traits, like the double chins much in evidence on every other relative in my field of vision.
resemble, look like, be like, be similar to, bear a resemblance to, have the look of;
remind one of, put one in mind of, make one think of, cause one to remember, recall, conjure up, suggest, evoke, call up
informal favour, be a chip off the old block, be the spitting image of

take against

British Begin to dislike (someone), often for no strong or obvious reason: from the moment he arrived, they took against this talented loudmouth
More example sentences
  • The curator insisted it was of placid temper, but obviously it took against me, and only a dangling camera bag saved my legs from a mauling.
  • He began talking about revolutionary socialism in his teens, taking against the school and the system that underpinned it.
  • I wear a baseball cap because I like the way it looks, but it seems like enough of a reason for the police to take against you.
take a dislike to, feel hostile towards, view with disfavour, look askance on, become unfriendly towards

take something apart

Dismantle something.
Example sentences
  • When responsibly understood, the implications of deconstruction are quite different from the misleading clichés often used to describe a process of dismantling or taking things apart.
  • A striking historical church is to be dismantled and moved - and it is the second time it has been taken apart.
  • What ‘overriding narratives’ do you feel are being dismissed or dismantled that should be kept intact, and who's taking them apart?
dismantle, pull/take to pieces, pull/take to bits, pull apart, disassemble, break up;
tear down, demolish, destroy, pulverize, wreck, smash, shatter
(take someone/thing apart) informal3.1 Attack, criticize, or defeat someone or something in a vigorous or forceful way: she was relishing the sight of me being verbally taken apart
More example sentences
  • This was the man who took Manchester United apart at the seams, the talisman for the attack.
  • But nothing to match what the team produced in the second half last Sunday as they took Tipp apart and inflicted as comprehensive a defeat on the Premier county as the famed blue and gold has ever suffered.
  • At home to Liverpool we were taken apart - it was like a kids game of ‘shots in’ for them.
criticize, attack, censure, condemn, denigrate, find fault with, pillory, maul, lambaste, flay, savage
informal knock, slam, pan, bash, crucify, hammer, lay into, roast, skewer

take something away

British Buy food at a cafe or restaurant for eating elsewhere: he ordered a lamb madras to take away
More example sentences
  • I really wanted a milkshake and ordered one to take away.

take away from

Detract from: that shouldn’t take away from the achievement of the French
More example sentences
  • From what I remember, there was also an alternative parade organised by some religious people who felt that the main parade took away from what Patrick really stood for.
  • The drunkenness really took away from what I was looking at.
  • This took away from what was otherwise good cooking, and did not seem very West Coast.

take someone back

Strongly remind someone of a past time: if ‘Disco Inferno’ doesn’t take you back, the bell-bottom pants will
More example sentences
  • The color reminded her of Radcliffe, but their gaze took her back to the days when she was a child.
  • There in the library amongst the smell of books and binding, he was taken back to what seemed like a past life.
  • Step through the heavy wood and glass doors of Hargadon Bros. and you are taken back to a time when time didn't matter, where the money in your pocket didn't dictate the good time you had.
evoke, awaken/evoke one's memories of, remind one of, put one in mind of, conjure up, summon up, call up;
echo, suggest, smack of

take something back

1Retract a statement: I take back nothing of what I said
More example sentences
  • These are not friendly guys, and given the opportunity to spend the night at it with a few members of the editorial pages of the Star Tribune, I think that maybe they would take their statements back.
  • Well, tell your teammates to catch a pass and I'll take that statement back.
  • She didn't realize how rude the statement sounded until it was too late to take it back.
retract, withdraw, renounce, disclaim, disown, unsay, disavow, recant, abjure, repudiate, override;
2Return unsatisfactory goods to a shop.
Example sentences
  • But she thinks Express has the best return policy, because you can take an item back at any time if you have a receipt.
  • Even if the store claims ‘no returns,’ I would take it back along with a dramatic protest.
  • He was the one who took things back to the shop if we weren't pleased!
2.1(Of a shop) accept goods returned as unsatisfactory.
Example sentences
  • While the shop was willing to take the durables back, it has yet not replaced nor refunded the equipment.
  • If he did not manage to sell it before or during his forthcoming journey to Flanders, he would return it to the dealer Fierens who was willing to take it back at cost, namely three hundred livres.
accept back, give a refund for, exchange, trade, swap
3 Printing Transfer text to the previous line.
Example sentences
  • The mark surrounds the matter to be taken back and it also extends in to the margin.

take something down

1Write down spoken words: I took down the address
More example sentences
  • Are you taking notes down or maybe just scrawling love messages to your hubby?
  • Obviously, it can be very useful to take your notes down straight away, i.e. as soon as something interesting happens.
  • As he reflected on this fact, he began to write the notes for the day and that he knew would just be a waste of chalk because no one would take the notes down.
write down, note down, make a note of, jot down, set down, mark down, record, put on record, commit to paper, put in black and white, register, draft, document, minute, pen
2Dismantle and remove a structure: the old Norman church was taken down in 1819
More example sentences
  • It does not make sense, and Denmark, the world leader in this form of energy production, has now stopped its building programme and is actually taking the structures down.
  • Tony and Jane were given until March this year to take the structure down.
  • But their health has deteriorated so much in recent months that they are willing to return the money if the structure is taken down.
remove, dismantle, disassemble, unfasten, separate, take apart, take to pieces, take out, disconnect;
demolish, tear down, level, raze

take from

another way of saying take away from.

take someone in

1Accommodate someone as a lodger or because they are homeless or in difficulties: the convent took in single Catholic ladies fallen on hard times
More example sentences
  • Terry Evans took Barrett in when he was homeless and offered him a place to stay.
  • Seraph brought her to the convent, which took her in.
  • But people were really kind to us, they took us in and fed us and stuff, so it was pretty impossible to stay mad on the whole tour, and I was trying really hard.
accommodate, board, house, feed, put up, take care of, admit, let in, receive, welcome, take, billet, harbour
2Cheat, fool, or deceive someone: she tried to pass this off as an amusing story, but nobody was taken in
More example sentences
  • The next moment they think they can take me in by tricks that a baby would see through - bless them!
  • We chuckled at how Bill Buckley had been taken in by a hoax involving postal taxes on internet mail.
  • In every situation, we demonstrate the clairvoyance of the dupe who swears that he will not be taken in again.

take something in

1Undertake work at home.
Example sentences
  • Take laundry in to do for others that don't want to be bothered doing this.
2Make a garment tighter by altering its seams.
Example sentences
  • I took it in to be altered before I went to New Jersey in August because it needed to be taken in all over and the skirt needed to be lifted up.
  • When taking garments in, try on the garment and pin at the spot where the most fabric needs to be removed.
2.1 Sailing Furl a sail.
Example sentences
  • As they drew near, they began to take in sail after sail, until they were reduced to the same condition.
3Include or encompass something: the sweep of his arm took in most of Main Street
More example sentences
  • The cove was named after Alfred Waylen, the original grantee of Swan Location 74 which took in most of the present day localities of Myaree and Alfred Cove.
  • The book attempts to take in a too broad canvas and not everyone is au fait with pastiche operetta.
3.1Fully understand or absorb something heard or seen: she took in the scene at a glance
More example sentences
  • Kate's dad Ron phoned me up to tell me and when I heard I couldn't take it in.
  • He carried this piece of paper to the glass door of the classroom, and then instructed me to stand facing the door, holding the piece of paper to the door with my forehead, so I could stare at the two words and take them in fully.
  • Melissa gestured toward Braden, Megan just nodded, not quite fully taking it in, but more like stuck in that moment of time.
informal get
4Visit or attend a place or event in a casual way or on the way to another: he’d maybe take in a movie, or just relax
More example sentences
  • We even took in a movie, in French with Spanish subtitles!
  • He was in town with his wife, and they took in a minor league ball game earlier in the day.

take off

1(Of an aircraft or bird) become airborne.
Example sentences
  • The wheels drop off when the aircraft takes off, and the ground crew retrieves them.
  • British fighter aircraft taking off from West Malling airfield were guided by the terrible orange glow on the horizon.
  • The local press has played up the danger these birds might pose for aircraft landing and taking off.
become airborne, leave the ground, take to the air, take wing;
be launched, lift off, blast off
1.1(Of an enterprise) become successful or popular: the newly launched electronic newspaper has really taken off
More example sentences
  • Should it ever take off and become wildly popular, you'd be advised to sign up now to avoid MeFi style agony.
  • The Ferry was a success, and the fledgling company really started to take off.
  • Their pure fruit smoothie recipes took off, and they've grown steadily since.
succeed, do well, become popular, catch on, progress, prosper, flourish, thrive, boom, turn out well, work (out)
2 (also take oneself off) Depart hastily: the officer took off after his men
More example sentences
  • He had retrieved it from a rubbish bin but was having little success in taking off with his prize.
  • Together they made millions, but when the relationship soured Doherty took off with just a small bag.
  • A taxi driver was beaten and robbed by three men who then took off in his car.
run away, run off, flee, abscond, take flight, decamp, disappear, leave, go, depart, make off, bolt, make a run/break for it, take to one's heels, beat a hasty retreat, make a quick exit, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills
informal split, beat it, clear off, clear out, skedaddle, vamoose, hightail it, light out
withdraw, retire, take one's leave, make one's departure, leave, exit, depart, go away, pull out, quit, make oneself scarce
informal clear off, clear out

take someone off

informal Mimic someone humorously.
Example sentences
  • The broad social base on which the theatre rested during this period enabled the mimics to take off people from practically all walks of life.

take something off

1Remove clothing from one’s or another’s body: she took off her cardigan
More example sentences
  • But did you intend to do so, which is why you took the clothes off your upper body?
  • Then the clothing is taken off and preserved - usually hung to dry so that its DNA evidence will not be destroyed by decomposition.
  • Colin gently laid her body on her bed and Meila took her shoes off and covered her body with her duvet cover.
remove, doff, divest oneself of, shed, strip off, pull off, peel off, climb out of, slip out of, shrug off, throw off, cast off, fling off, fling aside, discard
2Deduct part of an amount.
Example sentences
  • It went up to $44.99 but then they took off $10 because we bundled with the internet, and that makes it $34.99.
deduct, subtract, take away, remove
3Choose to have a period away from work: I took the next day off
More example sentences
  • I like their new stuff, but I agree that they took a long period off and people don't know what to expect.
  • In fact what made the journalists so angry was that many of the bosses chose to take the night off.
  • After my hit single I chose to take a year off to write my autobiography and produce this new album.

take on

British informal Become very upset, especially needlessly: don’t take on so—no need to upset yourself
More example sentences
  • Don't take on so, it will all turn out right in the end.
get upset, make a fuss, break down, get excited, go too far, lose one's sense of proportion, overreact
informal lose one's cool, get in a tizzy

take someone on

1Engage an employee.
Example sentences
  • If that goes well, the employer will take him on as an apprentice.
  • But he is finding it impossible to find an employer willing to take him on as an apprentice.
  • In Yogyakarta, UGM was recruiting a large number of employees and Soenaryo was taken on as an office boy at the school of technology.
engage, hire, employ, enrol, enlist, sign up, take into employment, put on the payroll
informal take on board
2Be willing or ready to meet an adversary or opponent: a group of villagers has taken on the planners
More example sentences
  • So it means that the low fare carrier in Australia can withstand one hell of a battle, and if Qantas wants to take us on, we're ready to take 'em on.
  • And even they liked it, came increasingly willingly to the slaughter, Posh and Becks, John Humphries, Germaine Greer, ready to take him on.
  • But he's a talk show host, so his opponents should take him on in public.
compete against, oppose, challenge, confront, face, fight, pit/match oneself against, vie with, contend with/against, battle with/against, struggle against, take up cudgels against, stand up to, go head to head against

take something on

1Undertake a task or responsibility, especially a difficult one: whoever takes on the trout farm will have their work cut out
More example sentences
  • Repairing this damage, and returning to the centre ground, seem like an almost impossible, and thankless task, for whoever takes it on.
  • Administrative tasks will be taken on by support staff so teachers can concentrate on teaching and a pupil researcher will be appointed to monitor progress.
  • Whoever takes it on now has the fun task of rebuilding the party, just to be dumped a year out from the election.
undertake, accept, take on oneself, tackle, turn one's hand to, adopt, assume, shoulder, embrace, acquire, carry, bear, support
informal have a go at
2Acquire a particular meaning or quality: the subject has taken on a new significance in the past year
More example sentences
  • It is then that Jacobsen's controversial account takes on the tone of a cheap airport thriller.
  • Her version takes on added resonance and power when you remember that Tori is herself a victim of male violence.
  • Along the way, we will also come to an understanding of why labour took on the importance it did for Marx.
acquire, assume, come to have, come by

take someone out

1Escort someone to a social event or place of entertainment: I took her out to dinner the following night
More example sentences
  • Brandon had taken her out on numerous dates, but it just didn't feel the same.
  • Swanson had repeatedly called Donna, bought her gifts, and taken her out on expensive dates - active steps that the court ruled lured her away from marital bliss and culminated in divorce.
  • He asked me one time if I had taken you out on a date yet.
2 Bridge Respond to a bid or double by one’s partner by bidding a different suit: most players would take their partners out into 4♥ on these hands
More example sentences
  • A wonderful agreement is that if you take out partner's 3 NT to 4 of a previously bid minor, you are making a slam try in the minor, and if partner then bids 4 NT, this is negative, to play.

take someone/thing out

informal Kill, destroy, or disable someone or something.
Example sentences
  • You caused a big uproar a few weeks ago when you suggested the U.S. should just simply take him out, should simply kill him.
  • Nothing beats getting 10-15 kills before someone eventually takes me out!
  • ‘I agree with you on principle,’ Brenner said, ‘but it's not worth sending a young man to kill himself to take O'Dell out.’

take something out

1Obtain an official document or service: you can take out a loan for a specific purchase
More example sentences
  • Williams is also $120,000 in debt from a series of bank loans he took out to finance the development of Broadcast 2000.
  • Afraid to own up to the truth, she takes out a huge loan and buys a replica to return to her rich friend.
  • Many years ago I took out a personal loan to buy a decent second-hand car.
1.1Get a licence or summons issued.
Example sentences
  • According to a source, the pair took out a license on Tuesday morning.
2chiefly US another way of saying take something away.
Example sentences
  • If you are just running in to get something to take out, it's okay - the burger was awesome, the fries were old, and the soda was soda.

take something out on

Relieve frustration or anger by attacking or mistreating (a person or thing not responsible for such feelings).
Example sentences
  • Instead, I took my anger out on her, my frustrations, purely because she was there.
  • I don't know, I am a bit of a soft target to take your anger out on, don't you think?
  • And when you're the defendant and you're the only one that they can take that anger out on, you're going to pretty much always get convicted.

take something over

1 (also take over) Assume control of something: British troops had taken over the German trenches
More example sentences
  • We can be attracted to that other, wishing to possess it, control it, or take it over and make it part of ourselves: this is passion.
  • On December 17, 1943, residents were forced to leave the village near Warminster when it was taken over for training US troops in the Second World War.
  • The new struggle is the sort that is happening in Iraq, where resources have been taken over and people are struggling to gain back local control of them.
assume control of, take control of, gain control of, take charge of, take command of, assume responsibility for;
assume, acquire, gain, appropriate, be elevated to
1.1(Of a company) buy out another: his new company took over his old one
More example sentences
  • At this stage, it's not clear what CH's plan for the satellites is - assuming it does indeed take them over.
  • The management team had been together for a good number of years and we felt it was an appropriate time to take it over.
  • Mr Woodhead ran Standard Fireworks in Huddersfield until a Hong Kong company took it over and moved production to China, blaming excessive factory controls in this country.
1.2Become responsible for a task in succession to another: he will take over as chief executive in April
More example sentences
  • Eventually, these simple, repetitive tasks were taken over by newly designed machines.
  • The 173d Airborne Brigade escorted Air Force fuel from Mosul to Kirkuk until the task was taken over by the 101st Corps Support Group.
  • When the UDC's property and responsibilities were taken over by Bradford Council in 1974, the stones were left in the Ashlands Road cemetery, some piled on crates, with some of the others left standing against a wall.
2 Printing Transfer text to the next line.
Example sentences
  • But a syllable of two letters must not be taken over to the next line.

take to

1Begin or fall into the habit of: he took to hiding some secret supplies in his desk
More example sentences
  • Or take to relatively less harmful habits like drinking, smoking and gambling.
  • Once the local gossip was out of the way, she took to her usual habit of saying, ‘So what's new?’
  • Lorenzo Amoruso of Rangers seems to be an amiable sort of fellow so it was sad to read that, during a long injury lay-off, he fell into a depression and took to the drink.
make a habit of, resort to, turn to, have recourse to, begin, start
formal commence
2Form a liking for: Mrs Brady never took to Moran
More example sentences
  • The advent of online lotteries had a bad effect on the State lottery, as fortune seekers began to take to the former.
  • American mobile phone users are beginning to take to SMS, but IM may be the future for wireless messaging in the US.
  • Children could easily take to the world of 3D excitement offered here.
develop a liking for, like, get on with, become friendly with
informal take a shine to
2.1Develop an ability for (something), especially quickly or easily: I took to pole-vaulting right away
More example sentences
  • Mr Wilstrop, 20, whose father often teaches the sport at the school, said the youngsters took to squash very quickly.
  • What amazes me is how quickly they take to caring for an elderly person who has to be cleaned, dressed and sorted out.
  • He quickly took to the work and was even initiated into the Guild.
become good at, develop an ability/aptitude for, be suitable for;
develop a liking for, like, enjoy, become interested in
3Go to (a place) to escape danger or an enemy: they took to the hills
More example sentences
  • Of course there is every chance that voters might literally take to the hills to escape such an election, but to my mind it is a risk worth taking.
  • Increasingly, Zambia's AIDS orphans attempt to escape their suffering by taking to the street.
  • Shocked into a speechless stupor, Ibis took to the air to escape the horrible sight on the ground.

take someone up

Adopt someone as a protégé.
Example sentences
  • Most of the people wintering in Jamaica at that time were rich, elderly Americans, and we were taken up by some of them, including Adele Astaire, the sister and one-time dancing partner of Fred.
  • To the Edinburgh literati who took him up after the success of his Kilmarnock edition of 1786 he played up to the image of the ‘heaven-taught ploughman’ as created by that second-rate poetaster Henry Mackenzie.

take something up

1Become interested or engaged in a pursuit: she took up tennis at the age of 11
More example sentences
  • Watching opera on television and attending live opera performances got her interested in taking it up as a career.
  • Mostly good weather favoured the event for the three weeks when outdoor pursuits could be taken up.
  • Mr Frost contacted Counsel and Care after reading about its national campaign to encourage older people to continue their artistic pursuits, or take them up for the first time.
become involved in, become interested in, engage in, participate in, take part in, practise, follow;
begin, start
formal commence
1.1Begin to hold or fulfil a position or post: he left to take up an appointment as a missionary
More example sentences
  • Part of the problem, Mr Adams said, was that there was no traffic warden patrolling for more than a year before he took the post up in July.
  • The Authors took their positions up around the Square, pages fluttering rapidly in their shivering hands.
  • The real Charlie takes his position up behind Forrest and allows him to fire, thoroughly destroying his copies and leaving rather nasty looking impact marks in the arena.
1.2Accept an offer or challenge.
Example sentences
  • So many couples took the city up on its surprise offer that, by late afternoon, overwhelmed officials told new applicants to return yesterday.
  • Nine or 10 of the lads, myself included, took the manager up on his kind offer.
  • I took the train up in the morning, spent three hours or so doing the usual rounds of presentation and schmoozing, and then I thought I would take my host up on her offer to see the sights.
accept, say yes to, agree to, accede to, adopt, get, gain
2Occupy time, space, or attention: I don’t want to take up any more of your time
More example sentences
  • The rest of that building will be taken up with some retail space, a small number of offices, possibly a hotel, and conference facilities.
  • Phil Burgess, group main board director of Emerson, Orbit's parent company, told the committee that only four per cent of the floor space would be taken up with the goods restricted by the covenant.
  • But many who currently sit in the Main Stand are angry that similar seats will not be available at the new stadium, because the space is taken up with expensive executive seats.
3Pursue a matter later or further: he’ll have to take it up with the bishop
More example sentences
  • If the matter is not resolved locally, the associations could take it up with Garda Headquarters.
  • You will be starting a bit earlier today, if that is a problem, take it up with Master Shay.
  • This is a matter for us to consider and we will take it up with the principals concerned.
3.1 (also take up) Resume speaking after an interruption: I took up where I had left off
More example sentences
  • He simply took up where he'd left off before I had so rudely interrupted him.
resume, recommence, restart, begin again, carry on, continue, carry on with, pick up, return to
4Shorten a garment by turning up the hem.
Example sentences
  • I'm looking to take them up, in and shorten the sleeves.
shorten, make shorter, turn up;
raise, lift, make higher

take someone up on

1Challenge or question a speaker on (a particular point): the interviewer did not take him up on his quotation
More example sentences
  • But I have to take you up on your question - your question to Frank Rich.
2Accept (an offer or challenge) from someone: I’d like to take you up on that offer
More example sentences
  • I realized how stupid I was acting and decided to take him up on the offer, silently accepting the pudding snack.
  • Fortunately, I don't have time to take her up on her offer, so Amherst audiences were mercifully spared.
  • You know we've been sitting here all day just waiting for some handsome cowboy to come save us and you know not a one has took us up on the offer.

take up with

Begin to associate with (someone), especially in a way disapproved of by the speaker: he’s taken up with a divorced woman, I understand
More example sentences
  • The narcissism of the pervert, who is interested in sex only as extreme sensation nurtured in solitary fantasy, is best illustrated by a vulgar movie star Charlotte takes up with in season three.
  • Thrice-married screen legend takes up with 19-year-old starlet?
  • As the film begins, she dumps him and takes up with one of his younger, upwardly-mobile colleagues.
become friendly with, become friends with, go around with, go along with, fall in with, join up with, string along with, get involved with, start seeing
informal knock about/around with, hang around/out with
British informal hang about with



Pronunciation: /ˈteɪkəb(ə)l/
(also takeable) adjective
Example sentences
  • So I spent a few hours pixel-picking - revisiting everywhere I could, scrolling my mouse over everything that looked like it might be takeable.
  • Fishing on Carra this week was described as poor to average, with only 4 takeable trout reported by 7 anglers in 9 rod-days.
  • Afzaal put down a takeable chance also but far more impressive was the blaze-away attitude of the visitors.


Late Old English tacan 'get (especially by force), capture', from Old Norse taka 'grasp, lay hold of', of unknown ultimate origin.

Words that rhyme with take

ache, awake, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, forsake, hake, Jake, lake, make, mistake, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, undertake, wake, wideawake

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: take

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