double take


dou·​ble take ˈdə-bəl-ˌtāk How to pronounce double take (audio)
: 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

Example Sentences

His parents did a double take when he came home with a tattoo.
Recent Examples on the Web Niven did a double take as the orchestra struck up a jaunty tune. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 Marisa Abela has fans doing a double take in the first photo from director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s upcoming biopic, Back to Black, in which the 26-year-old Industry actress is set to play Amy Winehouse. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 13 Jan. 2023 This pink polka dot dress and matching fascinator calls for a royal double take! Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2022 Some dinosaurs make paleontologists do a double take. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 Those who arrive looking for a more typical gallery pop-up will do a double take. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2022 This mother-daughter pair requires a royal double take! Stephanie Petit,, 13 Dec. 2021 Fans did a double take when celebrities including Emily Ratajkowski and Shay Mitchell came out as bisexual on TikTok. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 Nov. 2022 These unblinking eyes are sure to make guests do a double take. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of double take was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near double take

Cite this Entry

“Double take.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

double take

dou·​ble take ˈdəb-əl-ˌtāk How to pronounce double take (audio)
: a delayed reaction to a surprising or unusual situation after first failing to notice anything unusual
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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