double take

noun dou·ble take \ ˈdə-bəl-ˌtāk \
|Updated on: 9 Jun 2018

Definition of double take

: a delayed reaction to a surprising or significant situation after an initial failure to notice anything unusual usually used in the phrase do a double take

Examples of double take in a Sentence

  1. His parents did a double take when he came home with a tattoo.

Recent Examples of double take from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'double take.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of double take

1930

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

DOUBLE TAKE Defined for English Language Learners

double take

Definition of double take for English Language Learners

  • : an act of quickly looking at something that is surprising or unusual a second time after looking at it a moment earlier


Learn More about double take


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up double take? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

soothing, mild, or foolish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name More Food!

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!