- a definite piece of work assigned to, falling to, or expected of a person; duty.
- any piece of work.
- a matter of considerable labor or difficulty.
- Obsolete. a tax or impost.
- to subject to severe or excessive labor or exertion; put a strain upon (powers, resources, etc.).
- to impose a task on.
- Obsolete. to tax.
- of or relating to a task or tasks: A task chart will help organize the department's work.
- take to task, to call to account; blame; censure: The teacher took them to task for not doing their homework.
Origin of task
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for task
In 2011 LGBT media outlet Queerty took the app to task for allegedly deleting accounts that made reference to being trans.Grindr’s Trans Dating Problem
January 9, 2015
Sabrine is a trained lawyer, likely a helpful quality when your task is to push politicians.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
Before dying in 1219, Marshal would begin the task of rebuilding England after decades of war.England’s Greatest Knight Puts ‘Game of Thrones’ to Shame
December 9, 2014
But the task is a little more fun when you can send your gratitude on cute note cards inspired by traditional Islamic designs.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Angelina Jolie in Your Life
November 29, 2014
He finishes off the task he has set himself here with considerable precision and skill.How WWI Produced the Holocaust
November 21, 2014
But when the morning came he found the task a difficult one to enter upon.
But, nerved as he was by desperation, he found the task greater than he could compass.
The task now imposed upon him was a most distasteful and unwelcome one.
The first task that was set her was that of sweeping and dusting a parlor.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
He had accomplished the task which he had set himself in his youth.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
- a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or chore
- an unpleasant or difficult job or duty
- any piece of work
- take to task to criticize or reprove
- to assign a task to
- to subject to severe strain; tax
Word Origin and History for task
c.1300, "piece of work imposed as a duty," from Old North French tasque (13c., Old French tasche, Modern French tâche) "duty, tax," from Vulgar Latin *tasca "a duty, assessment," metathesis of Medieval Latin taxa, a back-formation of Latin taxare "to evaluate, estimate, assess" (see tax). General sense of "any piece of work that has to be done" is first recorded 1590s. Phrase take one to task (1680s) preserves the sense that is closer to tax.
German tasche "pocket" is from the same Vulgar Latin source (via Old High German tasca), with presumable sense evolution from "amount of work imposed by some authority," to "payment for that work," to "wages," to "pocket into which money is put," to "any pocket."
"to put a strain upon," 1590s, from task (n.). Related: Tasked; tasking.
Idioms and Phrases with task
see take to task.