[ teyk-uhp ]

  1. the act of taking up.

  2. Machinery.

    • any of various devices for taking up slack, winding in, or compensating for the looseness of parts due to wear.

  1. the contraction of fabric resulting from the wet operations in the finishing process, especially fulling.

Origin of take-up

First recorded in 1815–25; noun use of verb phrase take up

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use take-up in a sentence

  • There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly's sake, and he will take up a shield against the enemy.

  • That Lawrence, whom he looked upon almost as a son, should take up arms against the South was to him a source of endless regret.

  • Prepare the table, behold in the watchtower them that eat and drink: arise, ye princes, take up the shield.

  • Certain structures take up only acid dyes, and are called acidophilic, oxyphilic, or eosinophilic.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • An English battery came thundering down the road to take up a fresh position and assist in covering the retreat.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy

British Dictionary definitions for take up

take up

verb(adverb, mainly tr)
  1. to adopt the study, practice, or activity of: to take up gardening

  2. Australian and NZ to occupy and break in (uncultivated land): he took up some hundreds of acres in the back country

  1. to shorten (a garment or part of a garment): she took all her skirts up three inches

  2. to pay off (a note, mortgage, etc)

  3. to agree to or accept (an invitation, etc)

  4. to pursue further or resume (something): he took up French where he left off

  5. to absorb (a liquid)

  6. to adopt as a protégé; act as a patron to

  7. to occupy or fill (space or time)

  8. to interrupt, esp in order to contradict or criticize

  9. take up on

    • to argue or dispute with (someone): can I take you up on two points in your talk?

    • to accept what is offered by (someone): let me take you up on your invitation

  10. take up with

    • to discuss with (someone); refer to: to take up a fault with the manufacturers

    • (intr) to begin to keep company or associate with

    • the claiming or acceptance of something, esp a state benefit, that is due or available

    • (as modifier): take-up rate

  1. machinery the distance through which a part must move to absorb the free play in a system

  1. (modifier) denoting the part of a mechanism on which film, tape, or wire is wound up: a take-up spool on a tape recorder

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with take-up


Raise, lift, as in We have to take up the old carpet and sand the floor. [c. 1300]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.