Origin of undertaking
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to take upon oneself, as a task, performance, etc.; attempt: She undertook the job of answering all the mail.
- to promise, agree, or obligate oneself (followed by an infinitive): The married couple undertook to love, honor, and cherish each other.
- to warrant or guarantee (followed by a clause): The sponsors undertake that their candidate meets all the requirements.
- to take in charge; assume the duty of attending to: The lawyer undertook a new case.
- Archaic. to engage oneself by promise; give a guarantee, or become surety.
Origin of undertake
Examples from the Web for undertaking
The family-run company cites two reasons for undertaking this effort.Solar Powered Ski Lift
The Daily Beast
November 24, 2014
Under these circumstances, the kind of unilateral executive action Obama is undertaking will become more and more common.Why Did Obama Flip-Flop on Immigration?
November 21, 2014
It took a special, meticulous kind of person to accomplish the undertaking, someone with brains, patience, and nerves of steel.The High Society Bank Robber of the 1800s
J. North Conway
October 19, 2014
Pfizer is undertaking an audacious $100 billion bid for rival AstraZeneca.Big Pharma Skips to the U.K. to Avoid Taxes
May 2, 2014
The undertaking is massive: In January 2014 alone, Iran has executed more than 90 citizens.Gay, Iranian And Stylish in Exile
February 27, 2014
It was not difficult to find a lawyer suited to the necessities of the undertaking.Within the Law
In this undertaking he manifests a preternatural astuteness.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
But Sir James Erskine looked only at the difficulties of the undertaking.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
A change to the country could not but be helpful in such an undertaking.Casanova's Homecoming
Thus approaching her, it is impossible that success should not follow my undertaking.Imogen
- something undertaken; task, venture, or enterprise
- an agreement to do something
- the business of an undertaker
- informal the practice of overtaking on an inner lane a vehicle which is travelling in an outer lane
- (tr) to contract to or commit oneself to (something) or (to do something)to undertake a job; to undertake to deliver the goods
- (tr) to attempt to; agree to start
- (tr) to take (someone) in charge
- (intr foll by for) archaic to make oneself responsible (for)
- (tr) to promise
Word Origin and History for undertaking
"enterprise," early 15c., verbal noun from undertake (v.).
c.1200, "to entrap," in the same sense as Old English underniman (cf. Dutch ondernemen, German unternehmen), of which it is a partial loan-translation, from under + take. Cf. also French entreprendre "to undertake," from entre "between, among" + prendre "to take." The under in this word may be the same one that also may form the first element of understand. Meaning "to accept" is attested from mid-13c.; that of "to take upon oneself, to accept the duty of" is from c.1300.