[ teyk ]
See synonyms for: taketakentakestaking on Thesaurus.com

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.

  2. to hold, grasp, or grip: to take a book in one's hand;to take a child by the hand.

  1. to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice: to take a bone from a snarling dog.

  2. to seize or capture: to take an enemy town;to take a prisoner.

  3. to catch or get (fish, game, etc.), especially by killing: to take a dozen trout on a good afternoon.

  4. to pick from a number; select: Take whichever you wish.

  5. to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered): to take a compliment with a smile;to take a bribe.

  6. to receive or be the recipient of (something bestowed, administered, etc.): to take first prize.

  7. to accept and act upon or comply with: to take advice;to take a dare.

  8. to receive or accept (a person) into some relation: to take someone in marriage;to take new members once a year.

  9. to receive, react, or respond to in a specified manner: Although she kept calm, she took his death hard.

  10. to form in the mind; make: The company took the decision to shut down.

  11. to receive as a payment or charge: He refused to take any money for the use of his car.

  12. to gain for use by payment, lease, etc.: to take a box at the opera;to take a beach house for a month.

  13. to secure regularly or periodically by payment: to take a magazine.

  14. to get or obtain from a source; derive: The book takes its title from Dante.

  15. to extract or quote: He took whole passages straight from Dickens.

  16. to obtain or exact as compensation for some wrong: to take revenge.

  17. to receive into the body or system, as by swallowing or inhaling: to take a pill;to take a breath of fresh air.

  18. to have for one's benefit or use: to take a meal;to take a nap;to take a bath.

  19. to use as a flavoring agent in a food or beverage: to take sugar in one's coffee.

  20. to be subjected to; undergo: to take a heat treatment.

  21. to endure or submit to with equanimity or without an appreciable weakening of one's resistance: to take a joke;unable to take punishment.

  22. to enter into the enjoyment of (recreation, a holiday, etc.): to take a vacation.

  23. to carry off without permission: to take something that belongs to another.

  24. to remove: to take the pins out of one's hair.

  25. to remove by death: The flood took many families.

  26. to end (a life): She took her own life.

  27. to subtract or deduct: If you take 2 from 5, that leaves 3.

  28. to carry with one: Take your lunch with you. Are you taking an umbrella?

  29. to convey in a means of transportation: We took them for a ride in the country.

  30. (of a vehicle) to convey or transport: Will this bus take me across town?

  31. (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.

  32. to bring about a change in the state or condition of: Her ambition and perseverance took her quickly to the top of her field.

  33. to conduct or escort: to take someone out for dinner.

  34. 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.

  35. to come upon suddenly; catch: to take someone by surprise.

  36. to get or contract; catch: He took cold over the weekend. I took a chill.

  37. to attack or affect, as with a disease: suddenly taken with a fit of coughing.

  38. to be capable of attaining as a result of some action or treatment: Most leathers take a high polish.

  39. to absorb or become impregnated with; be susceptible to: Waxed paper will not take ink.This cloth takes dye.

  40. to attract and hold: The red sweater took his eye.The urgent voice took her attention.

  41. to captivate or charm: The kitten took my fancy.

  42. to require: It takes courage to do that.The climb took all our strength.

  43. to employ for some specified or implied purpose: to take measures to curb drugs.

  44. to use as a means of transportation: to take a bus to the ferry.

  45. to get on or board (a means of transportation) at a given time or in a given place: She takes the train at Scarsdale.

  46. to proceed to occupy: to take a seat.

  47. to occupy; fill (time, space, etc.): His hobby takes most of his spare time.The machine takes a lot of room.

  48. to use up; consume: This car takes a great deal of oil.He took ten minutes to solve the problem.

  49. to avail oneself of: He took the opportunity to leave.She took the time to finish it properly.

  50. to do, perform, execute, etc.: to take a walk.

  51. to go into or enter: Take the next road to the left.

  52. to adopt and enter upon (a way, course, etc.): to take the path of least resistance.

  53. to act or perform: to take the part of the hero.

  54. to make (a reproduction, picture, or photograph): I want to take a selfie in front of the waterfall.

  55. to make a picture, especially a photograph, of: The photographer took us sitting down.

  56. to write down: to take a letter in shorthand;to take notes at a lecture.

  57. to apply oneself to; study: to take ballet;She took four courses in her freshman year.

  58. to deal with; treat: to take things in their proper order.

  59. to proceed to handle in some manner: to take a matter under consideration.

  60. to assume or undertake (a function, duty, job, etc.): The mayor took office last month.

  61. to assume or adopt (a symbol, badge, or the like) as a token of office: to take the veil;to take the throne.

  62. to assume the obligation of; be bound by: to take an oath.

  63. to assume or adopt as one's own: to take someone's part in an argument;He took the side of the speaker.

  64. to assume or appropriate as if by right: to take credit for someone else's work.

  65. to accept the burden of: She took the blame for his failure.

  66. to determine by inquiry, examination, measurement, scientific observation, etc.: to take someone's pulse;to take a census.

  67. to make or carry out for purposes of yielding a determination: to take someone's measurements;to take a seismographic reading.

  68. to begin to have; experience (a certain feeling or state of mind): to take pride in one's appearance.

  69. to form and hold in the mind: to take a gloomy view.

  70. to grasp or apprehend mentally; understand; comprehend: Do you take my meaning, sir?

  71. to understand in a specified way: You shouldn't take the remark as an insult.

  72. to grasp the meaning of (a person): if we take him correctly.

  73. to accept the statements of: to take him at his word.

  74. to assume as a fact: I take it that you will be there.

  75. to regard or consider: They were taken to be wealthy.

  76. to capture or win (a piece, trick, etc.) in a game.

  77. Informal. to cheat, swindle, or victimize: They really take people in that shop.The museum got taken on that painting.

  78. to win or obtain money from: He took me for $10 in the poker game.

  79. (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with.

  80. Grammar. to be used with (a certain form, accent, case, mood, etc.): a verb that always takes an object.

  81. Law. to acquire property, as on the happening of an event: They take a fortune under the will.

  82. 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.

  1. to adhere, as ink, dye, or color.

  2. (of a person or thing) to win favor or acceptance: a new TV show that took with the public.

  3. to have the intended result or effect, as a medicine, inoculation, etc.: The vaccination took.

  4. to enter into possession, as of an estate.

  5. to detract (usually followed by from).

  6. to apply or devote oneself: He took to his studies.

  7. to make one's way; proceed; go: to take across the meadow.

  8. to fall or become: She took sick and had to go home.

  9. to admit of being photographed in a particular manner: a model who takes exceptionally well.

  10. to admit of being moved or separated: This crib takes apart for easy storage.

  1. the act of taking.

  2. something that is taken.

  1. the quantity of fish, game, etc., taken at one time.

  2. an opinion or assessment: What's your take on the candidate?

  3. an approach; treatment: a new take on an old idea.

  4. Informal. money taken in, especially profits.

  5. Movies.

    • a scene, or a portion of a scene, photographed without any interruption or break.

    • an instance of such continuous operation of the camera.

  6. 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.

  7. a recording of a musical performance.

  8. Medicine/Medical. a successful inoculation.

  9. Journalism. (formerly) a portion of copy assigned to a Linotype operator or compositor, usually part of a story or article.

Verb Phrases
  1. take after,

    • to resemble (another person, as a parent) physically, temperamentally, etc.: The baby took after his mother.

    • Also take off after, take out after. to follow; chase: The detective took after the burglars.

  2. take back,

    • to regain possession of: to take back one's lawn mower.

    • to return, as for exchange: It was defective, so I took it back to the store.

    • to allow to return; resume a relationship with: She said she would never take him back again.

    • to cause to remember: It takes one back to the old days.

    • to retract: to take back a statement.

  1. take down,

    • to move from a higher to a lower level or place.

    • to pull apart or take apart; dismantle; disassemble.

    • to write down; record.

    • to diminish the pride or arrogance of; humble: to take someone down a notch or two.

  2. take for,

    • to assume to be: I took it for the truth.

    • to assume falsely to be; mistake for: to be taken for a foreigner.

  3. take in,

    • to permit to enter; admit.

    • to alter (an article of clothing) so as to make smaller.

    • to provide lodging for.

    • to include; encompass.

    • to grasp the meaning of; comprehend.

    • to deceive; trick; cheat.

    • to observe; notice.

    • to visit or attend: to take in a show.

    • to furl (a sail).

    • to receive as proceeds, as from business activity.

    • Chiefly British. to subscribe to: to take in a magazine.

  4. take off,

    • to remove: Take off your coat.

    • to lead away: The child was taken off by kidnappers.

    • Informal. to depart; leave: They took off yesterday for California.

    • to leave the ground, as an airplane.

    • to move onward or forward with a sudden or intense burst of speed: The police car took off after the drunken driver.

    • to withdraw or remove from: She was taken off the night shift.

    • to remove by death; kill: Millions were taken off by the Black Plague.

    • to make a likeness or copy of; reproduce.

    • to subtract, as a discount; deduct: Shop early and we'll take off 20 percent.

    • Informal. to imitate; mimic; burlesque.

    • 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.

  5. take on,

    • to hire; employ.

    • to undertake; assume: to take on new responsibilities.

    • to acquire: The situation begins to take on a new light.

    • to accept as a challenge; contend against: to take on a bully.

    • Informal. to show great emotion; become excited: There's no need to take on so.

  6. take out,

    • to withdraw; remove: to take out a handkerchief.

    • to procure by application: to take out an insurance policy.

    • to carry out for use or consumption elsewhere: to take a book out of the library;to get food to take out.

    • to escort; invite: He takes out my sister now and then.

    • to set out; start: They took out for the nearest beach.

    • Slang. to kill; destroy.

  7. take over, to assume management or possession of or responsibility for: The first officer took over the ship when the captain suffered a heart attack.

  8. take to,

    • to devote or apply oneself to; become habituated to: to take to drink.

    • to respond favorably to; begin to like: They took to each other at once.

    • to go to: to take to one's bed.

    • to have recourse to; resort to: She took to getting up at five to go jogging before work.

  9. take up,

    • to occupy oneself with the study or practice of: She took up painting in her spare time.

    • to lift or pick up: He took up the fallen leaves with a rake.

    • to occupy; cover: A grand piano would take up half of our living room.

    • to consume; use up; absorb: Traveling to her job takes up a great deal of time.

    • to begin to advocate or support; sponsor: He has taken up another struggling artist.

    • to continue; resume: We took up where we had left off.

    • to reply to in order to reprove: The author takes up his critics in the preface of his latest book.

    • to assume: He took up the duties of the presidency.

    • to absorb: Use a sponge to take up the spilled milk.

    • to make shorter, as by hemming: to take up the sleeves an inch.

    • to make tighter, as by winding in: With a few quick turns of the reel, I took up the slack in my fishing line.

    • to deal with in discussion: to take up the issue of mass transit.

    • to adopt seriously: to take up the idea of seeking public office.

    • to accept, as an offer or challenge.

    • to buy as much as is offered: The sale was taken up in a matter of days.

    • to arrest.

    • Chiefly British. to clear by paying off, as a loan.

  10. take up with, Informal. to become friendly with; keep company with: He took up with a bad crowd.

Idioms about take

  1. on the take, Slang.

    • accepting bribes.

    • in search of personal profit at the expense of others.

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

  1. take it,

    • to accept or believe something; aquiesce: I'll take it on your say-so.

    • Informal. to be able to resist or endure hardship, abuse, etc.

    • to understand: I take it that you're not interested.

  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,

    • to exhaust; enervate: Every year the winter takes it out of me.

    • 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 up a collection, to ask for or gather donations, usually of money, from a number of people.

  6. take upon oneself, to assume as a responsibility or obligation: She has taken it upon herself to support the family.

Origin of take

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”

synonym study For take

1. See bring.

Other words for take

Opposites for take

Other words from take

  • tak·a·ble, take·a·ble, adjective
  • taker, noun
  • un·tak·a·ble, adjective
  • un·take·a·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with take

Words Nearby take

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

How to use take in a sentence

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

    Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing | Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
  • Wycliffe translates the Vulgate: “And it as a modir onourid schal meete hym, and as a womman fro virgynyte schal take him.”

    Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
  • But it was necessary to take Silan, which the rebels hastened to strengthen, closely followed up by the Spaniards.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • And this summer it seemed to her that she never would be able to take proper care of her nestful of children.

    The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Where the dampness is excessive the fronds take on an unhealthy appearance, and mould may appear.

    How to Know the Ferns | S. Leonard Bastin

British Dictionary definitions for take (1 of 2)


/ (teɪk) /

verbtakes, taking, took or taken (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to gain possession of (something) by force or effort

  2. to appropriate or steal: to take other people's belongings

  1. to receive or accept into a relationship with oneself: to take a wife

  2. to pay for or buy

  3. to rent or lease: to take a flat in town

  4. to receive or obtain by regular payment: we take a newspaper every day

  5. to obtain by competing for; win: to take first prize

  6. to obtain or derive from a source: he took his good manners from his older brother

  7. to assume the obligations of: to take office

  8. to endure, esp with fortitude: to take punishment

  9. to adopt as a symbol of duty, obligation, etc: to take the veil

  10. to receive or react to in a specified way: she took the news very well

  11. to adopt as one's own: to take someone's part in a quarrel

  12. to receive and make use of: to take advice

  13. to receive into the body, as by eating, inhaling, etc: to take a breath

  14. to eat, drink, etc, esp habitually: to take sugar in one's tea

  15. to have or be engaged in for one's benefit or use: to take a rest

  16. to work at or study: to take economics at college

  17. to make, do, or perform (an action): to take a leap

  18. to make use of: to take an opportunity

  19. to put into effect; adopt: to take measures

  20. (also intr) to make a photograph of or admit of being photographed

  21. to act or perform: she takes the part of the Queen

  22. to write down or copy: to take notes

  23. to experience or feel: to take pride in one's appearance; to take offence

  24. to consider, believe, or regard: I take him to be honest

  25. to consider or accept as valid: I take your point

  26. to hold or maintain in the mind: his father took a dim view of his career

  27. to deal or contend with: the tennis champion took her opponent's best strokes without difficulty

  28. to use as a particular case: take hotels for example

  29. (intr often foll by from) to diminish or detract: the actor's bad performance took from the effect of the play

  30. to confront successfully: the horse took the jump at the third attempt

  31. (intr) to have or produce the intended effect; succeed: her vaccination took; the glue is taking well

  32. (intr) (of seeds, plants, etc) to start growing successfully

  33. to aim or direct: he took a swipe at his opponent

  34. to deal a blow to in a specified place

  35. archaic to have sexual intercourse with

  36. to carry off or remove from a place

  37. to carry along or have in one's possession: don't forget to take your umbrella

  38. to convey or transport: the train will take us out of the city

  39. to use as a means of transport: I shall take the bus

  40. to conduct or lead: this road takes you to the station

  41. to escort or accompany: may I take you out tonight?

  42. to bring or deliver to a state, position, etc: his ability took him to the forefront in his field

  43. to go to look for; seek: to take cover

  44. to ascertain or determine by measuring, computing, etc: to take a pulse; take a reading from a dial

  45. (intr) (of a mechanism) to catch or engage (a part)

  46. to put an end to; destroy: she took her own life

  47. to come upon unexpectedly; discover

  48. to contract: he took a chill

  49. to affect or attack: the fever took him one night

  50. (copula) to become suddenly or be rendered (ill): he took sick; he was taken sick

  51. (also intr) to absorb or become absorbed by something: to take a polish

  52. (usually passive) to charm or captivate: she was very taken with the puppy

  53. (intr) to be or become popular; win favour

  54. to require or need: this job will take a lot of attention; that task will take all your time

  55. to subtract or deduct: to take six from ten leaves four

  56. to hold or contain: the suitcase won't take all your clothes

  57. to quote or copy: he has taken several paragraphs from the book for his essay

  58. to proceed to occupy: to take a seat

  59. (often foll by to) to use or employ: to take steps to ascertain the answer

  60. to win or capture (a trick, counter, piece, etc)

  61. (also intr) to catch as prey or catch prey

  62. slang to cheat, deceive, or victimize

  63. take amiss to be annoyed or offended by

  64. take at one's word See word (def. 17)

  65. take care to pay attention; be heedful

  66. take care of to assume responsibility for; look after

  67. take chances or take a chance to behave in a risky manner

  68. take five informal, mainly US and Canadian to take a break of five minutes

  69. take heart to become encouraged

  70. take it

    • to assume; believe: I take it you'll be back later

    • informal to stand up to or endure criticism, abuse, harsh treatment, etc

  71. take one's time to use as much time as is needed; not rush

  72. take place to happen or occur

  73. take someone's name in vain

    • to use a name, esp of God, disrespectfully or irreverently

    • jocular to say (someone's) name

  74. 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

  1. informal, mainly US the amount of anything taken, esp money

  2. films music

    • one of a series of recordings from which the best will be selected for release

    • the process of taking one such recording

    • a scene or part of a scene photographed without interruption

  3. informal

    • any objective indication of a successful vaccination, such as a local skin reaction

    • a successful skin graft

  4. printing a part of an article, story, etc, given to a compositor or keyboard operator for setting in type

  5. informal a try or attempt

  6. informal, mainly US a version or interpretation: Cronenberg's harsh take on the sci-fi story

Origin of take

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

Derived forms of take

  • takable or takeable, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for take (2 of 2)


/ (ˈtɑːkɪ) /

  1. NZ a topic or cause

Origin of take


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


In addition to the idioms beginning with take

  • take aback
  • take a back seat
  • take a bath
  • take a bow
  • take a break
  • take account of
  • take a chance
  • take a crack at
  • take a dim view of
  • take advantage of
  • take a fall
  • take a fancy to
  • take a fit
  • take after
  • take a gander at
  • take a hand in
  • take a hike
  • take a hint
  • take aim
  • take a joke
  • take a leaf out of someone's book
  • take a leak
  • take a load off one's mind
  • take a look at
  • take amiss
  • take an interest
  • take apart
  • take a picture
  • take a poke at
  • take a powder
  • take a rain check
  • take as gospel
  • take a shellacking
  • take a shine to
  • take aside
  • take a spill
  • take a stand
  • take at face value
  • take a turn for the better
  • take a walk
  • take away from
  • take a whack at
  • take back
  • take by storm
  • take by surprise
  • take care
  • take care of
  • take charge
  • take cover
  • take doing
  • take down
  • take down a notch
  • take effect
  • take exception to
  • take five
  • take flight
  • take for
  • take for a ride
  • take for gospel
  • take for granted
  • take heart
  • take hold
  • take ill
  • take in
  • take in good part
  • take in hand
  • take in stride
  • take into account
  • take into one's confidence
  • take into one's head
  • take into one's own hands
  • take issue with
  • take it
  • take it easy
  • take it from here
  • take it from me
  • take it on the chin
  • take it or leave it
  • take it out of one
  • take it out on
  • take its toll
  • take it upon oneself
  • take kindly to
  • take leave of
  • take liberties
  • take lying down
  • taken aback
  • take no for an answer, not
  • take note
  • take notes
  • taken with, be
  • take off
  • take offense
  • take office
  • take off one's hands
  • take off one's hat to
  • take on
  • take one's breath away
  • take one's chances
  • take one's cue from
  • take one's hat off to
  • take one's leave
  • take one's medicine
  • take one's time
  • take one's word for
  • take on faith
  • take on oneself
  • take out
  • take out of
  • take over
  • take pains
  • take part
  • take pity on
  • take place
  • take potluck
  • take pride in
  • take root
  • take shape
  • take sick
  • take sides
  • take some doing
  • take someone's life
  • take someone's measure
  • take someone's name in vain
  • take someone's part
  • take someone's point
  • take someone's word for
  • take someone at his or her word
  • take someone for a ride
  • take someone in
  • take something
  • take something on faith
  • takes one to know one
  • take steps
  • take stock
  • take stock in
  • takes two
  • take the bit in one's mouth
  • take the bitter with the sweet
  • take the bread out of someone's mouth
  • take the bull by the horns
  • take the cake
  • take the edge off
  • take the fall
  • take the field
  • take the Fifth
  • take the floor
  • take the heat
  • take the initiative
  • take the law into one's hands
  • take the liberty of
  • take the load off
  • take the plunge
  • take the pulse of
  • take the rap
  • take the rough with the smooth
  • take the starch out of
  • take the sting out of
  • take the trouble
  • take the wind out of one's sails
  • take the words out of someone's mouth
  • take the wrong way
  • take to
  • take to heart
  • take to one's heels
  • take to task
  • take to the cleaners
  • take turns
  • take umbrage
  • take up
  • take up a collection
  • take up arms
  • take up for
  • take up on
  • take up space
  • take up where one left off
  • take up with
  • take wing
  • take with a grain of slat

also see:

  • 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

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