\ˈtāk \
took\ˈtu̇k \; taken\ˈtā-​kən \; taking

Definition of take 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control: such as

a : to seize or capture physically took them as prisoners

b : to get possession of (fish or game) by killing or capturing

c(1) : to move against (an opponent's piece, as in in chess) and remove from play

(2) : to win in a card game able to take 12 tricks

d : to acquire by eminent domain

2 : grasp, grip take the ax by the handle

3a : to catch or attack through the effect of a sudden force or influence taken with a fit of laughing taken ill

b : to catch or come upon in a particular situation or action was taken unawares

c : to gain the approval or liking of : captivate, delight was quite taken with her at their first meeting

4a : to receive into one's body (as by swallowing, drinking, or inhaling) take a pill

b : to put oneself into (sun, air, water, etc.) for pleasure or physical benefit

c : to partake of : eat takes dinner about seven

5a : to bring or receive into a relation or connection takes just four students a year it's time he took a wife

b : to copulate with

6 : to transfer into one's own keeping:

a : appropriate someone took my hat

b : to obtain or secure for use (as by lease, subscription, or purchase) take a cottage for the summer I'll take the red one took an ad in the paper

7a : assume gods often took the likeness of a human being when the college took its present form

b(1) : to enter into or undertake the duties of take a job take office

(2) : to move onto or into : move into position on the home team took the field take the witness stand

c(1) : to bind oneself by take the oath of office

(2) : to make (a decision) especially with finality or authority

d : to impose upon oneself take the trouble to do good work take pains to make her feel welcome

e(1) : to adopt as one's own take a stand on the issue take an interest

(2) : to align or ally oneself with mother took his side

f : to assume as if rightfully one's own or as if granted take the credit

g : to accept the burden or consequences of took the blame

h : to have or assume as a proper part of or accompaniment to itself transitive verbs take an object

8a : to secure by winning in competition took first place

b : defeat

9 : to pick out : choose, select took the best apple

10 : to adopt, choose, or avail oneself of for use: such as

a : to have recourse to as an instrument for doing something take a scythe to the weeds

b : to use as a means of transportation or progression take the bus

c : to have recourse to for safety or refuge take shelter

d : to go along, into, or through took a different route

e(1) : to proceed to occupy take a seat in the rear

(2) : to use up (space, time, etc.) takes a long time to dry

(3) : need, require takes a size nine shoe it takes two to start a fight

11a : to obtain by deriving from a source : draw takes its title from the name of the hero

b(1) : to obtain as the result of a special procedure : ascertain take the temperature take a census

(2) : to get in or as if in writing take notes take an inventory

(3) : to get by drawing or painting or by photography take a snapshot

(4) : to get by transference from one surface to another take a proof take fingerprints

12 : to receive or accept whether willingly or reluctantly take a bribe will you take this call take a bet : such as

a(1) : to submit to : endure take a cut in pay

(2) : withstand it will take a lot of punishment

(3) : suffer took a direct hit

b(1) : to accept as true : believe I'll take your word for it

(2) : follow take my advice

(3) : to accept or regard with the mind in a specified way took the news hard you take yourself too seriously

c : to indulge in and enjoy was taking his ease on the porch

d : to receive or accept as a return (as in payment, compensation, or reparation) we don't take credit cards

e : to accept in a usually professional relationship often used with on agreed to take him on as a client

f : to refrain from hitting at (a pitched ball) take a strike

13a(1) : to let in : admit the boat was taking water fast

(2) : accommodate the suitcase wouldn't take another thing

b : to be affected injuriously by (something, such as a disease) : contract take cold also : to be seized by take a fit take fright

c : to absorb or become impregnated with (something, such as dye) also : to be effectively treated by a surface that takes a fine polish

14a : apprehend, understand how should I take your remark

b : consider, suppose I take it you're not going

c : reckon, accept taking a stride at 30 inches

d : feel, experience take pleasure take an instant dislike to someone take offense

15a : to lead, carry, or cause to go along to another place this bus will take you into town took an umbrella with her

b : to cause to move to a specified state, condition, or sphere of activity took the company public took his team to the finals

c : to stop prescribing a specified regimen to used with off took him off the medication

16a : remove take eggs from a nest

b(1) : to put an end to (life)

(2) : to remove by death was taken in his prime

c : subtract take two from four

d : exact the weather took its toll

17a : to undertake and make, do, or perform take a walk take aim take legal action take a test take a look

b : to participate in take a meeting

18a : to deal with take first things first

b : to consider or view in a particular relation taken together, the details were significant especially : to consider as an example take style, for instance

c(1) : to apply oneself to the study of take music lessons take French

(2) : to study for especially successfully taking a degree in engineering took holy orders

19 : to obtain money from especially fraudulently took me for all I had

20 : to pass or attempt to pass through, along, or over took the curve too fast take the stairs two at a time

intransitive verb

1 : to obtain possession: such as

a : capture

b : to receive property under law as one's own

2 : to lay hold : catch, hold

3 : to establish a take especially by uniting or growing 90 percent of the grafts take

4a : to betake oneself : set out : go take after a purse snatcher

b chiefly dialectal used as an intensifier or redundantly with a following verb took and swung at the ball

5a : to take effect : act, operate hoped the lesson he taught would take

b : to show the natural or intended effect dry fuel takes readily

6 : charm, captivate a taking smile

7 : detract

8 : to be seized or attacked in a specified way : become took sick

take a back seat

: to have or assume a secondary position or status

take a bath

: to suffer a heavy financial loss

take account of

: to take into account

take advantage of

1 : to use to advantage : profit by

2 : to impose on : exploit also : to exploit sexually

take after

: to resemble in features, build, character, or disposition

take a hike or less commonly take a walk

: to go away : leave

take aim at

: target sense 1 new legislation that takes aim at crime

take apart

1 : to disconnect the pieces of : disassemble

2 : to treat roughly or harshly : tear into

take a powder

: to leave hurriedly

take care

: to be careful or watchful : exercise caution or prudence

take care of

: to attend to or provide for the needs, operation, or treatment of

take charge

: to assume care, custody, command, or control

take effect

1 : to become operative

2 : to be effective

take exception

: object took exception to the remark

take five or take ten

: to take a break especially from work

take for

: to suppose to be especially : to suppose mistakenly to be

take for a ride take for granted

1 : to assume as true, real, or expected

2 : to value too lightly

take heart

: to gain courage or confidence

take hold

1 : grasp, grip, seize

2 : to become attached or established : take effect

take into account

: to make allowance for

take in vain

: to use (a name) profanely or without proper respect

take issue take it on the chin

: to suffer from the results of a situation

take kindly to

: to show an inclination to accept or approve

take no prisoners

: to be merciless or relentless (as in exploiting an advantage) a politician who takes no prisoners

take notice of

: to observe or treat with special attention

take one's time

: to be leisurely about doing something

take part take place take root

1 : to become rooted

2 : to become fixed or established

take shape

: to assume a definite or distinctive form

take ship

: set out on a voyage by ship

take the cake

: to carry off the prize : rank first

take the count

1 of a boxer : to be counted out

2 : to go down in defeat

take the floor

: to rise (as in a meeting or a legislative assembly) to make a formal address

take the mickey

: joke, kid

take the mickey out of

: to make fun of : tease

take the plunge

: to do or undertake something decisively especially after a period of hesitation or uncertainty

take to

1 : to go to or into take to the woods

2 : to apply or devote oneself to (something, such as a practice, habit, or occupation) take to begging

3 : to adapt oneself to : respond to takes to water like a duck

4 : to conceive a liking for

take to court

: to bring before a judicial body especially : sue sense 3

take to task

: to call to account for a shortcoming : criticize

take to the cleaners

: to deprive of money or possessions : clean out

take turns



Definition of take (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a distinct or personal point of view, outlook, or assessment was asked for her take on recent developments also : a distinct treatment or variation a new take on an old style

2 : an act or the action of taking: such as

a(1) : the uninterrupted photographing or televising of a scene

(2) : the making of a sound recording

b : the action of killing, capturing, or catching something (such as game or fish)

3 : something that is taken:

a : the amount of money received : proceeds, receipts, income

b : share, cut wanted a bigger take

c(1) : a scene filmed or televised at one time without stopping the camera

(2) : a sound recording made during a single recording period especially : a trial recording

d : the number or quantity (as of animals, fish, or pelts) taken at one time : catch, haul

e : a section or installment done as a unit or at one time

4a : a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination (as against smallpox)

b : a successful union (as of a graft)

5 : a visible response or reaction (as to something unexpected) a delayed take

on the take

: illegally paid for favors

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Other Words from take


taker noun

Synonyms for take

Synonyms: Verb

clasp, grasp, grip, hold

Synonyms: Noun

answer, reaction, reply, response

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Choose the Right Synonym for take


take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand. take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control. take some salad from the bowl seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible. seized the suspect grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession. grasp the handle and pull clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding. clutching her purse snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize. snatched a doughnut and ran grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch. grabbed roughly by the arm


take, seize, and grasp mean to get a hold on with or as if with the hand. take can be used of any way of getting possession or control of something. Please take this gift. You took more food than you can use. seize is used for an act of taking something suddenly and by force. A police officer seized the thief in the act of escaping. grasp is used for taking something in the hand and keeping it there firmly. Grasp my arm and walk slowly.

Examples of take in a Sentence


She took her things to her room. It looks like rain. You had better take an umbrella with you. This bus takes you downtown. Her office is down that hallway. I can take you there, if you want me to. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She took us for a ride in her new car. He's not the kind of guy you can take home to meet your parents. She took her child to one side and scolded him. I took the pen and signed my name. Take the pan by the handle.


It took us 20 takes to get the scene right. She nailed it on the first take. He stands to earn 10 percent of the company's $1 million take on the deal. She was expecting a bigger take.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Amazon takes about 70 percent of all e-book sales and 30 percent of all U.S. e-commerce. Paula Dwyer, Bloomberg.com, "Should America’s Tech Giants Be Broken Up?," 20 July 2017 So my parents stopped taking me to conventional doctors altogether and started relying primarily on homeopathy and Ayurveda, a form of Indian herbal medicine, in addition to stones that apparently reflected the light of the planets. Raka Chaki, Teen Vogue, "Vitiligo: My Journey Through Art," 20 July 2017 This isn’t an argument for asking every Muslim to ritually denounce every action taken by every individual radical. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Anti-Radical Muslims Need to Organize and Draw Lines," 20 July 2017 On this day in 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong took one giant leap to became the first human to walk on it. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "11 things you probably never knew about the historic Apollo 11 moon landing," 20 July 2017 Join the Young At Art Museum from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at D.C. Alexander Park on Fort Lauderdale Beach to take part in a collective art-making experience. Jennifer Jhon, South Florida Parenting, "Best events for kids this weekend: Free museum day, fun fests," 19 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yet midday Sunday, law enforcement offered a different take. Keri Blakinger, Gabrielle Banks And Brooke Lewis, San Antonio Express-News, "Santa Fe community grieves as investigation continues into massacre," 20 May 2018 This is all an extremely long-winded way of presenting the mildest of takes: Maybe let this just play out. Ted Berg, For The Win, "The problem with Major League Baseball is that players are too good at baseball," 16 May 2018 Late-afternoon starts are a rarity in baseball, and White Sox manager Rick Renteria declined to offer a take before Tuesday’s at Guaranteed Rate Field. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Rick Renteria ejected in White Sox's 1-0 loss to Mariners," 25 Apr. 2018 In an interview on Fox Sports’ Undisputed in December, before the draft order was set, Mora offered a different take. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Josh Rosen’s Coach Jim Mora: ‘I Would Take Sam Darnold if I’m the Cleveland Browns’," 26 Mar. 2018 In a 90-second unbroken take, the camera slowly pulls in on Darren Criss’ face as Cunanan starts to cry, seemingly understanding for a brief moment that Madson may not be coming back. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 4 Introduces the Unrequited Love of Andrew Cunanan's Life," 8 Feb. 2018 The 52-year-old Republican has a take-no-prisoners style of conservatism that delights hard-right members of the GOP but makes him a prime target of Democrats and centrists. John Hanna, The Seattle Times, "Kobach’s take-no-prisoners style at forefront in Kansas race," 14 Aug. 2018 There are no winners and losers in a real friendship; the give-and-take is part of our interpersonal homeostasis. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Ties in Biology, Trump-Pfizer Takeaways, Obamacare Navigator Cuts," 11 July 2018 The quarterback race to be the first quarterback take is wide open, and Alex Smith will turn 35 next May. Albert Breer, SI.com, "2019 NFL Mock Draft: A Very Early Look at the Potential Top 10 Picks," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of take


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for take


Middle English, from Old English tacan, from Old Norse taka; akin to Middle Dutch taken to take

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Statistics for take

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for take

The first known use of take was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for take

take a bath


Financial Definition of take a bath

What It Is

To "take a bath" means to take a large loss.

How It Works

John Doe buys Company XYZ shares at $10. Two weeks later, the stock tanks to $2 a share. John Doe has to sell the shares because he has to pay an outstanding tax bill and needs the cash. He sells at a big loss and takes a bath.

Why It Matters

Much like cats, investors hate taking baths.

Source: Investing Answers


\ˈtāk \
took\ˈtu̇k \; taken\ˈtā-​kən \; taking

Kids Definition of take

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get hold of : grasp You should take it by the handle. He took my hand.

2 : to carry or go with from one place to another I'll take you home. This bus will take us there.

3 : to get control of : capture took the fort

4 : to receive into the body Don't forget to take your medicine.

5 : to get possession or use of She took the book from the table. We will take a cottage by the shore for the summer.

6 : to begin to perform the responsibilities of : assume She took charge. A new mayor took office.

7 : to do the action of Let's take a walk.

8 : to use as a way of going from one place to another I take the bus. We'll take the highway.

9 : require sense 1 It will take a long time. I take a size ten.

10 : to put up with : endure I don't have to take that from you.

11 : to come upon We took them by surprise.

12 : to adopt or accept He took my side in the argument. She took all the credit.

13 : win entry 1 sense 2 My essay took second prize.

14 : choose sense 1, select I'll take the red one.

15 : to sit in or on Please take a seat.

16 : to find out by testing or examining Let me take your temperature.

17 : to save in some permanent form He took down every word of the speech. Will you take a picture?

18 : believe sense 2 I took it to be the truth. You can take my word for it.

19 : to be guided by : follow He refused to take my advice.

20 : to become affected suddenly She took sick just before the holiday.

21 : understand sense 4, interpret I took it to mean something different.

22 : to react in a certain way They take pleasure in music. Don't take offense.

23 : subtract Take 2 from 4.

24 : consider sense 1 For example, take this sentence …— Andrew Clements, Frindle

25 : to have effect : be successful The vaccination took.

26 : to be formed or used with Prepositions take objects.

27 : captivate, delight We were taken with its beauty.

take advantage of

1 : to make good use of Take advantage of your free time.

2 : to treat (someone) unfairly

take after

: resemble Many children take after their parents.

take back

: to try to cancel (as something said) I take it back. I really don't hate you.

take care

: to be careful

take care of

: to do what is needed : look after

take charge

: to assume care or control

take effect

1 : to go into existence or operation The new rate takes effect Monday.

2 : to have an intended or expected result Wait for the medicine to take effect.

take for granted

: to assume as true, real, or expected

take hold

: to become attached or established The tree I planted never took hold.

take in

1 : to make smaller She took the dress in.

2 : to receive as a guest We took in travelers for the night.

3 : to allow to join The club is not taking in new members.

4 : to receive and do at home for pay She takes in washing.

5 : to have within its limits The tour takes in both museums.

6 : to go to Let's take in a movie.

7 : to get the meaning of He took in the situation at a glance.

8 : cheat entry 1 sense 1 They were taken in by an old trick.

take off

1 : to take away (a covering) : remove You can take your shoes off.

2 : deduct I'm willing to take off ten percent.

3 : to leave a surface in beginning a flight or leap The plane is taking off now.

take on

1 : to begin (a task) or struggle against (an opponent) She took on the champion.

2 : to gain or show as or as if a part of oneself The city took on a carnival mood.

3 : employ entry 1 sense 1 The business will take on more workers.

4 : to make an unusual show of grief or anger Don't take on so.

take over

: to get control of Military leaders took over the government.

take part

: to do or join in something together with others Come take part in the fun.

take place

: to come about or occur : happen The meeting took place yesterday.

take up

1 : to get together from many sources We'll take up a collection for the gift.

2 : to start something for the first time or after a pause I'd like to take up painting. Our class took up the lesson where we left off.

3 : to change by making tighter or shorter She needs to take up the dress in the back.

Other Words from take

taker noun



Kids Definition of take (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the number or quantity of animals or fish killed, captured, or caught

2 : money received His take from the sale was half the price.

\ˈtāk \
took\ˈtu̇k \; taken\ˈtā-​kən \; taking

Medical Definition of take 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to establish a take especially by uniting or growing with an experienced surgeon some 90 percent of the grafts takeLancet

2 of a vaccine or vaccination : to produce a take



Medical Definition of take (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination

2 : a successful union (as of a graft)

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took; taken; taking

Legal Definition of take 

transitive verb

1a : to obtain control, custody, or possession of often by assertive or intentional means

b : to seize or interfere with the use of (property) by governmental authority specifically : to acquire title to for public use by eminent domain

2a : to undertake the duties of take office

b : to bind oneself by take an oath

3 : to get in writing

4a : to accept the tender of (as a promise)

b : to accept (as an oath, affidavit, or deposition) in a legal capacity (as by administering or witnessing)

5a : to set in motion take an appeal

b : to claim or exercise as an option or right take depreciation

6 : to put or set forth take an exception

intransitive verb

: to obtain ownership or possession of property take free of a security interest specifically : to receive the title to an estate take as an heir

take the Fifth

: to exercise the privilege against self-incrimination based on the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

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More from Merriam-Webster on take

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with take

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for take

Spanish Central: Translation of take

Nglish: Translation of take for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of take for Arabic Speakers

Comments on take

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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