[ uhn-der-teyk ]
See synonyms for: undertakeundertakenundertakesundertaking on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),un·der·took [uhn-der-took], /ˌʌn dərˈtʊk/, un·der·tak·en, un·der·tak·ing.
  1. to take upon oneself, as a task, performance, etc.; attempt: She undertook the job of answering all the mail.

  2. to promise, agree, or obligate oneself (followed by an infinitive): The married couple undertook to love, honor, and cherish each other.

  1. to warrant or guarantee (followed by a clause): The sponsors undertake that their candidate meets all the requirements.

  2. to take in charge; assume the duty of attending to: The lawyer undertook a new case.

verb (used without object),un·der·took [uhn-der-took], /ˌʌn dərˈtʊk/, un·der·tak·en, un·der·tak·ing.
  1. Archaic. to engage oneself by promise; give a guarantee, or become surety.

Origin of undertake

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English undertaken; see under-, take

Other words from undertake

  • pre·un·der·take, verb (used with object), pre·un·der·took, pre·un·der·tak·en, pre·un·der·tak·ing.

Words Nearby undertake

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

How to use undertake in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for undertake


/ (ˌʌndəˈteɪk) /

verb-takes, -taking, -took or -taken
  1. (tr) to contract to or commit oneself to (something) or (to do something): to undertake a job; to undertake to deliver the goods

  2. (tr) to attempt to; agree to start

  1. (tr) to take (someone) in charge

  2. (intr foll by for) archaic to make oneself responsible (for)

  3. (tr) to promise

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