double take


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.

Nearby words

  1. double star,
  2. double steal,
  3. double stop,
  4. double sugar,
  5. double tackle,
  6. double take, do a,
  7. double talk,
  8. double tap,
  9. double tape,
  10. double tide

Origin of double take

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for double-take

British Dictionary definitions for double-take

double take


(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

Word Origin and History for double-take



1922, from double (adj.) + take (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper