[ task, tahsk ]
See synonyms for: tasktaskedtaskingtasks on Thesaurus.com

  1. a definite piece of work assigned to, falling to, or expected of a person; duty.

  2. any piece of work.

  1. a matter of considerable labor or difficulty.

  2. Obsolete. a tax or impost.

verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to severe or excessive labor or exertion; put a strain upon (powers, resources, etc.).

  2. to impose a task on.

  1. Obsolete. to tax.

  1. of or relating to a task or tasks: A task chart will help organize the department's work.

Idioms about task

  1. take to task, to call to account; blame; censure: The teacher took them to task for not doing their homework.

Origin of task

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun, from Medieval Latin tasca, variant of taxa tax

synonym study For task

1, 2. Task, chore, job, assignment refer to a definite and specific instance or act of work. Task and chore and, to a lesser extent, job often imply work that is tiresome, arduous, or otherwise unpleasant. Task usually refers to a clearly defined piece of work, sometimes of short or limited duration, assigned to or expected of a person: the task of pacifying angry customers; a difficult, time-consuming task. A chore is a minor task, usually one of several performed as part of a routine, as in farming, and often more tedious than difficult: the daily chore of taking out the garbage; early morning chores of feeding the livestock. Job is the most general of these terms, referring to almost any work or responsibility, including a person's means of earning a living: the job of washing the windows; a well-paying job in advertising. Assignment refers to a specific task allocated to a person by someone in a position of authority: a homework assignment; a reporter's assignment to cover international news.

Other words for task

Other words from task

  • taskless, adjective
  • subtask, noun
  • un·tasked, adjective

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

How to use task in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for task


/ (tɑːsk) /

  1. a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or chore

  2. an unpleasant or difficult job or duty

  1. any piece of work

  2. take to task to criticize or reprove

  1. to assign a task to

  2. to subject to severe strain; tax

Origin of task

C13: from Old French tasche, from Medieval Latin tasca, from taxa tax, from Latin taxāre to tax

Derived forms of task

  • tasker, noun
  • taskless, adjective

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 task


see take to task.

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