take on

Save This Word!

verb (adverb, mainly tr)

to employ or hireto take on new workmen
to assume or acquirehis voice took on a plaintive note
to agree to do; undertakeI'll take on that job for you
to compete against, oppose, or fightI will take him on at tennis; I'll take him on any time
(intr) informal to exhibit great emotion, esp grief



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.
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

Idioms and Phrases with take on

take on


Undertake or begin to deal with, as in I took on new responsibilities, or She took on too much when she accepted both assignments. [Early 1300s]


Hire, engage, as in We take on extra workers during the busy season. [Early 1600s]


Oppose in competition, as in This young wrestler was willing to take on all comers. [Late 1800s]


Display strong emotion, as in Don't take on so. [Colloquial; early 1400s]


Acquire as, or as if, one's own, as in He took on the look of a prosperous banker. [Late 1700s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
What's This Word?