take the initiative

Begin a task or plan of action, as in The boss was on vacation when they ran out of materials, so Julie took the initiative and ordered more. This term uses initiative in the sense of “the power to originate something,” a usage dating from the late 1700s.


Nearby words

  1. take the fall,
  2. take the field,
  3. take the fifth,
  4. take the floor,
  5. take the heat,
  6. take the law into one's hands,
  7. take the liberty of,
  8. take the load off,
  9. take the plunge,
  10. take the pulse of

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