- to take upon oneself, as a task, performance, etc.; attempt: She undertook the job of answering all the mail.
- to promise, agree, or obligate oneself (followed by an infinitive): The married couple undertook to love, honor, and cherish each other.
- to warrant or guarantee (followed by a clause): The sponsors undertake that their candidate meets all the requirements.
- to take in charge; assume the duty of attending to: The lawyer undertook a new case.
- Archaic. to engage oneself by promise; give a guarantee, or become surety.
Origin of undertake
Examples from the Web for undertaken
But were Americans ever so worked up about the practice that they demanded it not be undertaken in their name?The U.S. Will Torture Again—and We’re All to Blame
December 12, 2014
In a historic visit in 2012, Barack Obama hailed the “remarkable journey” the country had undertaken.Hope and Change? Burma Kills a Journalist Before Obama Arrives
November 11, 2014
Correction: The original article stated that Starboard Strategic Inc. had undertaken the Internet media buy for the NRA.A Tom Cotton Ad on Grindr?
October 29, 2014
They are believed to have been staying in the big house while renovations are undertaken.A Royal Staycation for William and Kate
August 27, 2014
Such a process has been undertaken before in another city that experienced a riot after the shooting of an unarmed black man.Prosecuting Officer Wilson Won't Bring Justice to Ferguson
August 23, 2014
In accordance with the advice of Hippocrates, the journey to Olympia was undertaken.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
At the moment of parting he began to realize that he had undertaken a difficult task.Brave and Bold
Yet do I know what a task I have undertaken, because of the knack you are noted for at writing.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
You think of other duties you have undertaken, and wonder who will carry them through.The Conquest of Fear
The voyage was undertaken in compliance with an application from the Royal Society.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
- (tr) to contract to or commit oneself to (something) or (to do something)to undertake a job; to undertake to deliver the goods
- (tr) to attempt to; agree to start
- (tr) to take (someone) in charge
- (intr foll by for) archaic to make oneself responsible (for)
- (tr) to promise
Word Origin and History for undertaken
c.1200, "to entrap," in the same sense as Old English underniman (cf. Dutch ondernemen, German unternehmen), of which it is a partial loan-translation, from under + take. Cf. also French entreprendre "to undertake," from entre "between, among" + prendre "to take." The under in this word may be the same one that also may form the first element of understand. Meaning "to accept" is attested from mid-13c.; that of "to take upon oneself, to accept the duty of" is from c.1300.