View synonyms for take


[ teyk ]

verb (used with object)

, took, tak·en, tak·ing.
  1. to get into one's hold or possession by voluntary action:

    to take a cigarette out of a box;

    to take a pen and begin to write.

    Synonyms: procure, secure, acquire

    Antonyms: give

  2. to hold, grasp, or grip:

    to take a book in one's hand;

    to take a child by the hand.

  3. to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice:

    to take a bone from a snarling dog.

  4. to seize or capture:

    to take an enemy town;

    to take a prisoner.

  5. to catch or get (fish, game, etc.), especially by killing:

    to take a dozen trout on a good afternoon.

  6. to pick from a number; select:

    Take whichever you wish.

    Synonyms: choose

  7. to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered):

    to take a compliment with a smile;

    to take a bribe.

  8. to receive or be the recipient of (something bestowed, administered, etc.):

    to take first prize.

  9. to accept and act upon or comply with:

    to take advice;

    to take a dare.

  10. to receive or accept (a person) into some relation:

    to take someone in marriage;

    to take new members once a year.

  11. to receive, react, or respond to in a specified manner:

    Although she kept calm, she took his death hard.

  12. to form in the mind; make:

    The company took the decision to shut down.

  13. to receive as a payment or charge:

    He refused to take any money for the use of his car.

  14. to gain for use by payment, lease, etc.:

    to take a box at the opera;

    to take a beach house for a month.

  15. to secure regularly or periodically by payment:

    to take a magazine.

  16. to get or obtain from a source; derive:

    The book takes its title from Dante.

  17. to extract or quote:

    He took whole passages straight from Dickens.

  18. to obtain or exact as compensation for some wrong:

    to take revenge.

  19. to receive into the body or system, as by swallowing or inhaling:

    to take a pill;

    to take a breath of fresh air.

  20. to have for one's benefit or use:

    to take a meal;

    to take a nap;

    to take a bath.

  21. to use as a flavoring agent in a food or beverage:

    to take sugar in one's coffee.

  22. to be subjected to; undergo:

    to take a heat treatment.

  23. to endure or submit to with equanimity or without an appreciable weakening of one's resistance:

    to take a joke;

    unable to take punishment.

    Synonyms: tolerate, stand, bear

  24. to enter into the enjoyment of (recreation, a holiday, etc.):

    to take a vacation.

  25. to carry off without permission:

    to take something that belongs to another.

  26. to remove:

    to take the pins out of one's hair.

  27. to remove by death:

    The flood took many families.

  28. to end (a life):

    She took her own life.

  29. to subtract or deduct:

    If you take 2 from 5, that leaves 3.

  30. to carry with one:

    Take your lunch with you. Are you taking an umbrella?

  31. to convey in a means of transportation:

    We took them for a ride in the country.

  32. (of a vehicle) to convey or transport:

    Will this bus take me across town?

  33. (of a road, path, etc.) to serve as a means of conducting to or through some place or region:

    Fifth Avenue took us through the center of town.

    These stairs will take you up to the attic.

  34. to bring about a change in the state or condition of:

    Her ambition and perseverance took her quickly to the top of her field.

  35. to conduct or escort:

    to take someone out for dinner.

  36. to set about or succeed in getting over, through, or around (some obstacle); clear; negotiate:

    The horse took the hedge easily.

    He took the corner at top speed.

  37. to come upon suddenly; catch:

    to take someone by surprise.

  38. to get or contract; catch:

    He took cold over the weekend. I took a chill.

  39. to attack or affect, as with a disease:

    suddenly taken with a fit of coughing.

  40. to be capable of attaining as a result of some action or treatment:

    Most leathers take a high polish.

  41. to absorb or become impregnated with; be susceptible to:

    Waxed paper will not take ink.

    This cloth takes dye.

  42. to attract and hold:

    The red sweater took his eye.

    The urgent voice took her attention.

  43. to captivate or charm:

    The kitten took my fancy.

    Synonyms: engage, interest, attract, delight

  44. to require:

    It takes courage to do that.

    The climb took all our strength.

    Synonyms: demand, need

  45. to employ for some specified or implied purpose:

    to take measures to curb drugs.

    Synonyms: use

  46. to use as a means of transportation:

    to take a bus to the ferry.

  47. to get on or board (a means of transportation) at a given time or in a given place:

    She takes the train at Scarsdale.

  48. to proceed to occupy:

    to take a seat.

  49. to occupy; fill (time, space, etc.):

    His hobby takes most of his spare time.

    The machine takes a lot of room.

  50. to use up; consume:

    This car takes a great deal of oil.

    He took ten minutes to solve the problem.

  51. to avail oneself of:

    He took the opportunity to leave.

    She took the time to finish it properly.

  52. to do, perform, execute, etc.:

    to take a walk.

  53. to go into or enter:

    Take the next road to the left.

  54. to adopt and enter upon (a way, course, etc.):

    to take the path of least resistance.

  55. to act or perform:

    to take the part of the hero.

  56. to make (a reproduction, picture, or photograph):

    I want to take a selfie in front of the waterfall.

  57. to make a picture, especially a photograph, of:

    The photographer took us sitting down.

  58. to write down:

    to take a letter in shorthand;

    to take notes at a lecture.

  59. to apply oneself to; study:

    to take ballet;

    She took four courses in her freshman year.

  60. to deal with; treat:

    to take things in their proper order.

  61. to proceed to handle in some manner:

    to take a matter under consideration.

  62. to assume or undertake (a function, duty, job, etc.):

    The mayor took office last month.

  63. to assume or adopt (a symbol, badge, or the like) as a token of office:

    to take the veil;

    to take the throne.

  64. to assume the obligation of; be bound by:

    to take an oath.

  65. to assume or adopt as one's own:

    to take someone's part in an argument;

    He took the side of the speaker.

  66. to assume or appropriate as if by right:

    to take credit for someone else's work.

  67. to accept the burden of:

    She took the blame for his failure.

  68. to determine by inquiry, examination, measurement, scientific observation, etc.:

    to take someone's pulse;

    to take a census.

    Synonyms: ascertain

  69. to make or carry out for purposes of yielding a determination:

    to take someone's measurements;

    to take a seismographic reading.

  70. to begin to have; experience (a certain feeling or state of mind):

    to take pride in one's appearance.

  71. to form and hold in the mind:

    to take a gloomy view.

  72. to grasp or apprehend mentally; understand; comprehend:

    Do you take my meaning, sir?

  73. to understand in a specified way:

    You shouldn't take the remark as an insult.

  74. to grasp the meaning of (a person):

    if we take him correctly.

  75. to accept the statements of:

    to take him at his word.

  76. to assume as a fact:

    I take it that you will be there.

    Synonyms: presume, suppose

  77. to regard or consider:

    They were taken to be wealthy.

  78. to capture or win (a piece, trick, etc.) in a game.
  79. Informal. to cheat, swindle, or victimize:

    They really take people in that shop.

    The museum got taken on that painting.

  80. to win or obtain money from:

    He took me for $10 in the poker game.

  81. (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with.
  82. Grammar. to be used with (a certain form, accent, case, mood, etc.):

    a verb that always takes an object.

  83. Law. to acquire property, as on the happening of an event:

    They take a fortune under the will.

  84. Baseball. (of a batter) to allow (a pitch) to go by without swinging at it:

    He took a third strike.

verb (used without object)

, took, tak·en, tak·ing.
  1. to catch or engage, as a mechanical device:

    She turned the key and heard a click as the catch took.

  2. to strike root or begin to grow, as a plant.
  3. to adhere, as ink, dye, or color.
  4. (of a person or thing) to win favor or acceptance:

    a new TV show that took with the public.

  5. to have the intended result or effect, as a medicine, inoculation, etc.:

    The vaccination took.

  6. to enter into possession, as of an estate.
  7. to detract (usually followed by from ).
  8. to apply or devote oneself:

    He took to his studies.

  9. to make one's way; proceed; go:

    to take across the meadow.

  10. to fall or become:

    She took sick and had to go home.

  11. to admit of being photographed in a particular manner:

    a model who takes exceptionally well.

  12. to admit of being moved or separated:

    This crib takes apart for easy storage.


  1. the act of taking.
  2. something that is taken.
  3. the quantity of fish, game, etc., taken at one time.
  4. an opinion or assessment:

    What's your take on the candidate?

  5. an approach; treatment:

    a new take on an old idea.

  6. Informal. money taken in, especially profits.
  7. Movies.
    1. a scene, or a portion of a scene, photographed without any interruption or break.
    2. an instance of such continuous operation of the camera.
  8. Informal. a visual and mental response to something typically manifested in a stare expressing total absorption or wonderment:

    She did a slow take on being asked by reporters the same question for the third time.

  9. a recording of a musical performance.
  10. Medicine/Medical. a successful inoculation.
  11. Journalism. (formerly) a portion of copy assigned to a Linotype operator or compositor, usually part of a story or article.

verb phrase

    1. to move from a higher to a lower level or place.
    2. to pull apart or take apart; dismantle; disassemble.
    3. to write down; record.
    4. to diminish the pride or arrogance of; humble:

      to take someone down a notch or two.

    1. to remove:

      Take off your coat.

    2. to lead away:

      The child was taken off by kidnappers.

    3. Informal. to depart; leave:

      They took off yesterday for California.

    4. to leave the ground, as an airplane.
    5. to move onward or forward with a sudden or intense burst of speed:

      The police car took off after the drunken driver.

    6. to withdraw or remove from:

      She was taken off the night shift.

    7. to remove by death; kill:

      Millions were taken off by the Black Plague.

    8. to make a likeness or copy of; reproduce.
    9. to subtract, as a discount; deduct:

      Shop early and we'll take off 20 percent.

    10. Informal. to imitate; mimic; burlesque.
    11. Informal. to achieve sudden, marked growth, success, etc.:

      Sales took off just before Christmas.

      The actor's career took off after his role in that movie.

    1. to resemble (another person, as a parent) physically, temperamentally, etc.:

      The baby took after his mother.

    2. Also take off after, take out after. to follow; chase:

      The detective took after the burglars.

    1. to devote or apply oneself to; become habituated to:

      to take to drink.

    2. to respond favorably to; begin to like:

      They took to each other at once.

    3. to go to:

      to take to one's bed.

    4. to have recourse to; resort to:

      She took to getting up at five to go jogging before work.

    1. to withdraw; remove:

      to take out a handkerchief.

    2. to procure by application:

      to take out an insurance policy.

    3. to carry out for use or consumption elsewhere:

      to take a book out of the library;

      to get food to take out.

    4. to escort; invite:

      He takes out my sister now and then.

    5. to set out; start:

      They took out for the nearest beach.

    6. Slang. to kill; destroy.
    1. to occupy oneself with the study or practice of:

      She took up painting in her spare time.

    2. to lift or pick up:

      He took up the fallen leaves with a rake.

    3. to occupy; cover:

      A grand piano would take up half of our living room.

    4. to consume; use up; absorb:

      Traveling to her job takes up a great deal of time.

    5. to begin to advocate or support; sponsor:

      He has taken up another struggling artist.

    6. to continue; resume:

      We took up where we had left off.

    7. to reply to in order to reprove:

      The author takes up his critics in the preface of his latest book.

    8. to assume:

      He took up the duties of the presidency.

    9. to absorb:

      Use a sponge to take up the spilled milk.

    10. to make shorter, as by hemming:

      to take up the sleeves an inch.

    11. to make tighter, as by winding in:

      With a few quick turns of the reel, I took up the slack in my fishing line.

    12. to deal with in discussion:

      to take up the issue of mass transit.

    13. to adopt seriously:

      to take up the idea of seeking public office.

    14. to accept, as an offer or challenge.
    15. to buy as much as is offered:

      The sale was taken up in a matter of days.

    16. to arrest.
    17. Chiefly British. to clear by paying off, as a loan.
    1. to regain possession of:

      to take back one's lawn mower.

    2. to return, as for exchange:

      It was defective, so I took it back to the store.

    3. to allow to return; resume a relationship with:

      She said she would never take him back again.

    4. to cause to remember:

      It takes one back to the old days.

    5. to retract:

      to take back a statement.

  1. Informal. to become friendly with; keep company with:

    He took up with a bad crowd.

    1. to assume to be:

      I took it for the truth.

    2. to assume falsely to be; mistake for:

      to be taken for a foreigner.

    1. to hire; employ.
    2. to undertake; assume:

      to take on new responsibilities.

    3. to acquire:

      The situation begins to take on a new light.

    4. to accept as a challenge; contend against:

      to take on a bully.

    5. Informal. to show great emotion; become excited:

      There's no need to take on so.

    1. to permit to enter; admit.
    2. to alter (an article of clothing) so as to make smaller.
    3. to provide lodging for.
    4. to include; encompass.
    5. to grasp the meaning of; comprehend.
    6. to deceive; trick; cheat.
    7. to observe; notice.
    8. to visit or attend:

      to take in a show.

    9. to furl (a sail).
    10. to receive as proceeds, as from business activity.
    11. Chiefly British. to subscribe to:

      to take in a magazine.

  2. to assume management or possession of or responsibility for:

    The first officer took over the ship when the captain suffered a heart attack.



/ ˈtɑːkɪ /


  1. a topic or cause



/ teɪk /


  1. also intr to gain possession of (something) by force or effort
  2. to appropriate or steal

    to take other people's belongings

  3. to receive or accept into a relationship with oneself

    to take a wife

  4. to pay for or buy
  5. to rent or lease

    to take a flat in town

  6. to receive or obtain by regular payment

    we take a newspaper every day

  7. to obtain by competing for; win

    to take first prize

  8. to obtain or derive from a source

    he took his good manners from his older brother

  9. to assume the obligations of

    to take office

  10. to endure, esp with fortitude

    to take punishment

  11. to adopt as a symbol of duty, obligation, etc

    to take the veil

  12. to receive or react to in a specified way

    she took the news very well

  13. to adopt as one's own

    to take someone's part in a quarrel

  14. to receive and make use of

    to take advice

  15. to receive into the body, as by eating, inhaling, etc

    to take a breath

  16. to eat, drink, etc, esp habitually

    to take sugar in one's tea

  17. to have or be engaged in for one's benefit or use

    to take a rest

  18. to work at or study

    to take economics at college

  19. to make, do, or perform (an action)

    to take a leap

  20. to make use of

    to take an opportunity

  21. to put into effect; adopt

    to take measures

  22. also intr to make a photograph of or admit of being photographed
  23. to act or perform

    she takes the part of the Queen

  24. to write down or copy

    to take notes

  25. to experience or feel

    to take pride in one's appearance

    to take offence

  26. to consider, believe, or regard

    I take him to be honest

  27. to consider or accept as valid

    I take your point

  28. to hold or maintain in the mind

    his father took a dim view of his career

  29. to deal or contend with

    the tennis champion took her opponent's best strokes without difficulty

  30. to use as a particular case

    take hotels for example

  31. introften foll byfrom to diminish or detract

    the actor's bad performance took from the effect of the play

  32. to confront successfully

    the horse took the jump at the third attempt

  33. intr to have or produce the intended effect; succeed

    her vaccination took

    the glue is taking well

  34. intr (of seeds, plants, etc) to start growing successfully
  35. to aim or direct

    he took a swipe at his opponent

  36. to deal a blow to in a specified place
  37. archaic.
    to have sexual intercourse with
  38. to carry off or remove from a place
  39. to carry along or have in one's possession

    don't forget to take your umbrella

  40. to convey or transport

    the train will take us out of the city

  41. to use as a means of transport

    I shall take the bus

  42. to conduct or lead

    this road takes you to the station

  43. to escort or accompany

    may I take you out tonight?

  44. to bring or deliver to a state, position, etc

    his ability took him to the forefront in his field

  45. to go to look for; seek

    to take cover

  46. to ascertain or determine by measuring, computing, etc

    take a reading from a dial

    to take a pulse

  47. intr (of a mechanism) to catch or engage (a part)
  48. to put an end to; destroy

    she took her own life

  49. to come upon unexpectedly; discover
  50. to contract

    he took a chill

  51. to affect or attack

    the fever took him one night

  52. copula to become suddenly or be rendered (ill)

    he took sick

    he was taken sick

  53. also intr to absorb or become absorbed by something

    to take a polish

  54. usually passive to charm or captivate

    she was very taken with the puppy

  55. intr to be or become popular; win favour
  56. to require or need

    that task will take all your time

    this job will take a lot of attention

  57. to subtract or deduct

    to take six from ten leaves four

  58. to hold or contain

    the suitcase won't take all your clothes

  59. to quote or copy

    he has taken several paragraphs from the book for his essay

  60. to proceed to occupy

    to take a seat

  61. often foll by to to use or employ

    to take steps to ascertain the answer

  62. to win or capture (a trick, counter, piece, etc)
  63. also intr to catch as prey or catch prey
  64. slang.
    to cheat, deceive, or victimize
  65. take amiss
    to be annoyed or offended by
  66. take at one's word
    See word
  67. take care
    to pay attention; be heedful
  68. take care of
    to assume responsibility for; look after
  69. take chances or take a chance
    to behave in a risky manner
  70. take five informal.
    to take a break of five minutes
  71. take heart
    to become encouraged
  72. take it
    1. to assume; believe

      I take it you'll be back later

    2. to stand up to or endure criticism, abuse, harsh treatment, etc
  73. take one's time
    to use as much time as is needed; not rush
  74. take place
    to happen or occur
  75. take someone's name in vain
    1. to use a name, esp of God, disrespectfully or irreverently
    2. to say (someone's) name
  76. take something upon oneself
    to assume the right to do or responsibility for (something)


  1. the act of taking
  2. the number of quarry killed or captured on one occasion
  3. informal.
    the amount of anything taken, esp money
  4. films music
    1. one of a series of recordings from which the best will be selected for release
    2. the process of taking one such recording
    3. a scene or part of a scene photographed without interruption
  5. informal.
    1. any objective indication of a successful vaccination, such as a local skin reaction
    2. a successful skin graft
  6. printing a part of an article, story, etc, given to a compositor or keyboard operator for setting in type
  7. informal.
    a try or attempt
  8. informal.
    a version or interpretation

    Cronenberg's harsh take on the sci-fi story

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtakable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • taka·ble takea·ble adjective
  • taker noun
  • un·taka·ble adjective
  • un·takea·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of take1

First recorded before 1100; Middle English taken, tacke “to grip, take, strike, lay hold of, grasp,” late Old English tacan “to grasp, touch, grab,” from Old Norse taka “to take, grab, grasp”; cognate with West Frisian take “to take, grab, steal,” Middle Dutch taken “to grasp,” Gothic tekan “to touch”; perhaps akin to Latin tangere “to touch”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of take1


Origin of take2

Old English tacan, from Old Norse taka; related to Gothic tekan to touch

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. on the take, Slang.
    1. accepting bribes.
    2. in search of personal profit at the expense of others.
  2. take it out in, to accept as payment for services or as an equivalent of monetary compensation:

    He takes it out in goods instead of cash.

  3. take it out of,
    1. to exhaust; enervate:

      Every year the winter takes it out of me.

    2. to exact payment from; penalize:

      They took it out of your pay.

  4. take it out on, Informal. to cause (someone else) to suffer for one's own misfortune or dissatisfaction:

    Just because you're angry with him you don't have to take it out on me!

  5. take it,
    1. to accept or believe something; aquiesce:

      I'll take it on your say-so.

    2. Informal. to be able to resist or endure hardship, abuse, etc.
    3. to understand:

      I take it that you're not interested.

  6. take up a collection, to ask for or gather donations, usually of money, from a number of people.
  7. take upon oneself, to assume as a responsibility or obligation:

    She has taken it upon herself to support the family.

  8. take for granted. grant ( def 10 ).

More idioms and phrases containing take

  • at (take) pains
  • devil take the hindmost
  • double take
  • give and take
  • give or take
  • go to (take) the trouble
  • have (take) a crack at
  • have (take) a fit
  • in (take) effect
  • (take) in good part
  • in tow, take
  • it takes all sorts
  • it takes getting used to
  • it takes one to know one
  • (take) off one's hands
  • (take) on faith
  • on the take
  • pay your money and take your choice
  • pride oneself (take pride in)
  • (take a) rain check
  • sit up and take notice
  • that's (takes care of) that
  • what do you take me for
  • what it takes
  • (take) with a grain of salt
  • you can lead (take) a horse to water
  • you can't take it with you

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Synonym Study

See bring.

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Example Sentences

Yet this, in the end, is a book from which one emerges sad, gloomy, disenchanted, at least if we agree to take it seriously.

And now, similarly, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee: "Bend over and take it like a prisoner!"

ROME — What does it take for a Hollywood A-lister to get a private audience with Pope Francis?

Although Huckabee's condescending tone - like that of an elementary school history teacher - makes it difficult to take seriously.

Clickbait title notwithstanding, Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner!

I take the Extream Bells, and set down the six Changes on them thus.

Wycliffe translates the Vulgate: “And it as a modir onourid schal meete hym, and as a womman fro virgynyte schal take him.”

But it was necessary to take Silan, which the rebels hastened to strengthen, closely followed up by the Spaniards.

And this summer it seemed to her that she never would be able to take proper care of her nestful of children.

Where the dampness is excessive the fronds take on an unhealthy appearance, and mould may appear.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




Takatsukitake aback