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take up a collection

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Request and gather donations, as in They were taking up a collection for the church that burned down, or The veterans' group takes up a collection every month of household goods and furniture. This idiom was first recorded in 1849.

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

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