verb (used with object), be·took, be·tak·en, be·tak·ing.

to cause to go (usually used reflexively): She betook herself to town.
Archaic. to resort or have recourse to.

Origin of betake

First recorded in 1175–1225, betake is from the Middle English word bitaken. See be-, take Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for betake

Historical Examples of betake

  • She knew at once that she must betake her to the Truth for refuge.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • All that he need do was to put on his hat and betake himself to his usual diversions.


    Emile Zola

  • When thou arisest I also arise; when thou settest I also betake myself to rest.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies

  • He was compelled to lay it aside, and betake himself to a stroll and a pipe.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • For a while after my reception, I proposed to betake myself to some secular calling.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua

    John Henry Cardinal Newman

British Dictionary definitions for betake


verb -takes, -taking, -took or -taken (tr)

betake oneself to go; move
archaic to apply (oneself) to
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for betake

c.1200, from be- + take. Related: Betook; betaken.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper