• Take


    • enPR: tāk, IPA: /teɪk/, tʰeɪk
    • Rhymes: -eɪk


    From Middle English taken ("to take, lay hold of, grasp, strike"), from Old English tacan ("to grasp, touch"), probably of origin, from Old Norse taka ("to touch, take"), from Proto-Germanic *tēkaną ("to touch"), from Proto-Indo-European *deh₁g-, *dh₁g- ("to touch"). Gradually displaced Middle English nimen ("to take"), from Old English niman ("to take"). Cognate with Icelandic taka ("to take"), Danish tage ("to take, seize"), Middle Dutch taken ("to grasp"), Middle Low German tacken ("to grasp"). See tackle.

    Full definition of take


    1. (transitive) To get or put something into one's or someone's possession or control.
      1. To grasp with the hands.
      2. To pick up and move to oneself.
        I’ll take that plate off the table.
        • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 19, Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
      3. To carry or move, especially to a particular destination.
        I'll take the plate with me.
        • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 2, Here was my chance. I took the old man aside, and two or three glasses of Old Crow launched him into reminiscence.
      4. To lead; to conduct.
      5. Who's going to take the kids to school?
        I took my girlfriend to the cinema.
      6. To choose.
        I'll take the blue plates.
        We took the road on the right.
        • Bible, 1 Samuel xiv. 42Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
      7. To accept.
        Do you take sugar in your coffee?
        We take all major credit cards.
        • 2013-08-10, Schumpeter, Cronies and capitols, Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.
      8. To receive (a newspaper, magazine, etc.) regularly, as by paying the subscription.I used to take The Sunday Times.
      9. (military) To gain a position by force.
        After a bloody battle, they were able to take the city.
      10. To ingest medicine, drugs, etc.
        I take aspirin every day to thin my blood.
      11. To capture using a photographic camera.
        The photographer took a picture of our family.
      12. (dated) To form a likeness of; to copy; to depict.
        to take (i.e. draw or paint) a picture of a person
        • John Dryden (1631-1700)Beauty alone could beauty take so right.
      13. (obsolete) To deliver, give (something); to entrust.
        • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XIII:Now brynge me youre shylde that I toke you whan ye wente into batayle ayenst Kyng Tholome.
        • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXIII:Jesus perceaved there wylynes, and sayde: Why tempte ye me ye ypocrytes? lett me se the tribute money. And they toke hym a peny.
    2. To have or change a state of mind or body.
      1. (transitive) To endure or cope with.
        I can take the noise, but I can't take the smell.
      2. (transitive, often with “for”) To assume or interpret to be.
        Do you take me for a fool?
        I take it you're not going?
        Looking at him as he came into the room, I took him for his father.
        He was often taken to be a man of means.
        • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 22, Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part. Thus outraged, she showed herself to be a bold as well as a furious virago.
      3. (intransitive) To become.
        They took ill within 3 hours.   She took sick with the flu.
      4. (transitive) To enroll (in a class, or a course of study).
        I plan to take math, physics, literature and flower arrangement this semester.
      5. (transitive) To participate in, undergo, or experience.
        Aren't you supposed to take your math final today?   When will you take your vacation?   I had to take a pee.
      6. (intransitive) To habituate to or gain competency at a task.
        I take to swimming like a fish.
      7. (transitive) To perform or undertake, for example, a task.
        to take a trip;  to take aim
        • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 4, No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or.... And at last I began to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion was futile, and to take such holidays as I could get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of thankfulness.
      8. (transitive) To experience or feel, for example, offence.
        to take a dislike;  to take pleasure
        • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 1, Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”
        • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 20, The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen....The second note, the high alarum, not so familiar and always important since it indicates the paramount sin in Man's private calendar, took most of them by surprise although they had been well prepared.
      9. (reflexive) To go.
        • 2007, Edwin Mullins, The Popes of Avignon, Blue Bridge 2008, p. 59:Nicholas then took himself to Avignon where in August 1330 he formally renounced his claim to the papacy.
    3. To require or limit.
      1. (transitive) To support or carry without failing or breaking.
        That truck bed will only take two tons.
      2. (transitive) To need, require.
        Looks like it's gonna take a taller person to get that down.   Finishing this on schedule will take a lot of overtime.
        • 2013-08-31, Code blue, Time was it took a war to close a financial exchange. Now all it needs is a glitch in technology. On August 26th trading on Eurex, the main German derivatives exchange, opened as usual; 20 minutes later it shut down for about an hour. Four days earlier the shares of every company listed on NASDAQ, an American stock exchange, ceased trading for three hours.
      3. (transitive) To last or expend amount of time.
        I estimate the trip will take about ten minutes.
      4. (transitive, sport) To decide or to act.
        1. (baseball) To not swing at a pitch.
          He’ll probably take this one.
        2. (climbing) To tighten (take up) a belaying rope. Often used imperatively.
        3. (cricket) To catch the ball; especially for the wicket-keeper to catch the ball after the batsman has missed or edged it.
        4. To be the player who performs (a free kick, etc.).
          The kick is taken from where the foul occurred.   Pirès ran in to take the kick.   The throw-in is taken from the point where the ball crossed the touch-line.
        5. Not to refuse or balk at; to undertake readily; to clear.
          The pony took every hedge and fence in its path.
      5. (transitive) To have sex with.
        The rapist took his victims in dark alleys.
      6. (transitive) To fight or attempt to fight somebody. (See also take on.)
        Don't try to take that guy. He's bigger than you.
      7. (intransitive) To stick, persist, thrive or remain.
        I started some tomato seeds last spring, but they didn't take.
        He was inoculated, but the virus did not take.
        • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)When flame taketh and openeth, it giveth a noise.
      8. (transitive) To use.
        Let's take the bus today.   This camera takes 35mm film.
      9. To decide, react, or interact.
        1. (obsolete) To please; to gain reception; to succeed.
          • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)Each wit may praise it for his own dear sake,
            And hint he writ it, if the thing should take.
        2. (transitive) To consider as an instance or example.
          I've had a lot of problems recently. Take last Monday. The car broke down on the way to work. Then ...etc.
        3. To gain or secure the interest or affection of; to captivate; to engage; to interest; to charm.
          • Bible, Proverbs vi. 25Neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
          • WakeCleombroutus was so taken with this prospect, that he had no patience.
          • Thomas Moore (1779-1852)I know not why, but there was a something in those half-seen features, — a charm in the very shadow that hung over their imagined beauty, — which took me more than all the outshining loveliness of her companions.
        4. To bear without ill humour or resentment; to submit to; to tolerate; to endure.
          Can he take a joke?
          I'm not going to take your insults.
        5. To accept the word or offer of; to receive and accept.
        6. To draw; to deduce; to derive.
          I'm not sure what moral to take from that story.
          • John Tillotson (1630-1694)The firm belief of a future judgment is the most forcible motive to a good life, because taken from this consideration of the most lasting happiness and misery.
        7. To accept, as something offered; to receive; not to refuse or reject; to admit.
          • Bible, Numbers xxxv. 31Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer.
          • Bible, 1 Timothy v. 10Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore.
        8. (often with to mean) To understand or interpret.

    Usage notes

    In informal speech, especially in certain sociolects, took is sometimes replaced by the proscribed form taked.





    (plural takes)
    1. An act of taking.
    2. Something that is taken; a haul.
    3. A profit, reward, bribe, illegal payoff or unethical kickback.He wants half of the take if he helps with the job.The mayor is on the take.
    4. An interpretation or view; perspective.What’s your take on this issue, Fred?
    5. (film) An attempt to record a scene.It’s a take.Act seven, scene three, take two.
    6. (rugby) A catch.
    7. (acting) A facial gesture in response to an event.I did a take when I saw the new car in the driveway.
    8. (cricket) A catch of the ball, especially by the wicket-keeper.
    9. (printing) The quantity or copy given to a compositor at one time.

    Derived terms

    Terms derived from take (noun)"mickey-take"


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