Definition of task in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɑːsk/


A piece of work to be done or undertaken: a new manager was given the task of developing the club’s talent
More example sentences
  • You are not afraid of taking on difficult tasks or ventures that call for skillful manoeuvres.
  • Children must be at least 13 before they can legally work and even then can only undertake light tasks.
  • The staff could be used weekly or monthly to undertake routine and repetitive tasks.
job, duty, chore, charge, labour, piece of work, piece of business, assignment, function, commission, mission, engagement, occupation, undertaking, exercise, business, responsibility, errand, detail, endeavour, enterprise, venture, quest, problem, burden


[with object]
1Assign a task to: NATO troops are tasked with separating the warring parties
More example sentences
  • While Porter heads for the mainland to get the boat repaired, Sandy is tasked with a load of chores.
  • Each student group was tasked with carrying out a market research project and produced a marketing plan for their assigned client company.
  • Now the group, which is tasked with monitoring stop and search use in Lewisham, is planning an educational video so young people are fully aware of their rights.
1.1Make great demands on (someone’s resources or abilities): it tasked his diplomatic skill to effect his departure in safety
More example sentences
  • When tasking your resources, make sure the plan is feasible.


take someone to task

Reprimand or criticize someone severely for a fault or mistake: he took some military experts to task for their optimistic predictions
More example sentences
  • We have had this blip and we do not criticise the PTA for taking us to task about it.
  • That is the only reason I can think of to explain why he has not been taken to task more severely by the media.
  • And some critics will then take us to task for flouting ordinary usage.
rebuke, reprimand, reprove, reproach, remonstrate with, upbraid, scold, berate, lecture, castigate, censure, criticize, admonish, chide, chasten, lambaste, nag, blame, arraign, call to account, haul over the coals, read someone the Riot Act
informal tell off, give someone a dressing-down, give someone a talking-to
British informal tick off, carpet
North American informal bawl out, chew out


Middle English: from an Old Northern French variant of Old French tasche, from medieval Latin tasca, alteration of taxa, from Latin taxare 'censure, charge' (see tax). An early sense of the verb was 'impose a tax on'.

  • tax from Middle English:

    Tax and task—the earliest sense of which was to impose a tax on—both go back to Latin taxare ‘to censure, charge, compute’. Task in the general sense ‘something that has to be done’ is found from the late 16th century.

Words that rhyme with task

ask, bask, cask, flask, Krasnoyarsk, mask, masque

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: task

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