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double take

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noun

a rapid or surprised second look, either literal or figurative, at a person or situation whose significance had not been completely grasped at first: His friends did a double take when they saw how much weight he had lost.

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of double take

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for double take

British Dictionary definitions for double take

double take

noun

(esp in comedy) a delayed reaction by a person to a remark, situation, etc
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
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