[task, tahsk]


verb (used with object)


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


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

Origin of task

1250–1300; Middle English (noun) < Medieval Latin tasca, metathetic variant of taxa tax
Related formstask·less, adjectivesub·task, nounun·tasked, adjective

Synonyms for task

1, 2. job, assignment. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tasking

Contemporary Examples of tasking

  • In Rounders, John Malkovich threw himself into the tasking of speaking in a 24-inch thick Russian immigrant tongue.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Stars Who Can't Do Accents

    Richard Rushfield

    December 9, 2010

Historical Examples of tasking

  • And it was a tasking of her energies equal to the buffeting of recurrent waves on deep sea.

  • This at least was not arrogant; the man who is sensible of his own weakness, is safe by not tasking it to the proof.

British Dictionary definitions for tasking



a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or chore
an unpleasant or difficult job or duty
any piece of work
take to task to criticize or reprove

verb (tr)

to assign a task to
to subject to severe strain; tax
Derived Formstasker, nountaskless, adjective

Word Origin for task

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

Word Origin and History for tasking



c.1300, "piece of work imposed as a duty," from Old North French tasque (13c., Old French tasche, Modern French tâche) "duty, tax," from Vulgar Latin *tasca "a duty, assessment," metathesis of Medieval Latin taxa, a back-formation of Latin taxare "to evaluate, estimate, assess" (see tax). General sense of "any piece of work that has to be done" is first recorded 1590s. Phrase take one to task (1680s) preserves the sense that is closer to tax.

German tasche "pocket" is from the same Vulgar Latin source (via Old High German tasca), with presumable sense evolution from "amount of work imposed by some authority," to "payment for that work," to "wages," to "pocket into which money is put," to "any pocket."



"to put a strain upon," 1590s, from task (n.). Related: Tasked; tasking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tasking


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.