verb \ˈtāk\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of take


play \ˈtu̇k\;


play \ˈtā-kən\;


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control: such asa :  to seize or capture physically took them as prisonersb :  to get possession of (fish or game) by killing or capturingc (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 tricksd :  to acquire by eminent domain

  3. 2 :  grasp, grip take the ax by the handle

  4. 3a :  to catch or attack through the effect of a sudden force or influence taken with a fit of laughing taken illb :  to catch or come upon in a particular situation or action was taken unawaresc :  to gain the approval or liking of :  captivate, delight was quite taken with her at their first meeting

  5. 4a :  to receive into one's body (as by swallowing, drinking, or inhaling) take a pillb :  to put oneself into (sun, air, water, etc.) for pleasure or physical benefitc :  to partake of :  eat takes dinner about seven

  6. 5a :  to bring or receive into a relation or connection takes just four students a year it's time he took a wifeb :  to copulate with

  7. 6 :  to transfer into one's own keeping:a :  appropriate someone took my hatb :  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

  8. 7a :  assume gods often took the likeness of a human being when the college took its present formb (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 standc (1) :  to bind oneself by take the oath of office (2) :  to make (a decision) especially with finality or authorityd :  to impose upon oneself take the trouble to do good work take pains to make her feel welcomee (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 sidef :  to assume as if rightfully one's own or as if granted take the creditg :  to accept the burden or consequences of took the blameh :  to have or assume as a proper part of or accompaniment to itself transitive verbs take an object

  9. 8a :  to secure by winning in competition took first placeb :  defeat

  10. 9 :  to pick out :  choose, select took the best apple

  11. 10 :  to adopt, choose, or avail oneself of for use: such asa :  to have recourse to as an instrument for doing something take a scythe to the weedsb :  to use as a means of transportation or progression take the busc :  to have recourse to for safety or refuge take shelterd :  to go along, into, or through took a different routee (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

  12. 11a :  to obtain by deriving from a source :  draw takes its title from the name of the herob (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

  13. 12 :  to receive or accept whether willingly or reluctantly take a bribe will you take this call take a bet: such asa (1) :  to submit to :  endure take a cut in pay (2) :  withstand it will take a lot of punishment (3) :  suffer took a direct hitb (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 seriouslyc :  to indulge in and enjoy was taking his ease on the porchd :  to receive or accept as a return (as in payment, compensation, or reparation) we don't take credit cardse :  to accept in a usually professional relationship —often used with on agreed to take him on as a clientf :  to refrain from hitting at (a pitched ball) take a strike

  14. 13a (1) :  to let in :  admit the boat was taking water fast (2) :  accommodate the suitcase wouldn't take another thingb :  to be affected injuriously by (something, such as a disease) :  contract take cold; also :  to be seized by take a fit take frightc :  to absorb or become impregnated with (something, such as dye); also :  to be effectively treated by a surface that takes a fine polish

  15. 14a :  apprehend, understand how should I take your remarkb :  consider, suppose I take it you're not goingc :  reckon, accept taking a stride at 30 inchesd :  feel, experience take pleasure take an instant dislike to someone take offense

  16. 15a :  to lead, carry, or cause to go along to another place this bus will take you into town took an umbrella with herb :  to cause to move to a specified state, condition, or sphere of activity took the company public took his team to the finalsc :  to stop prescribing a specified regimen to —used with off took him off the medication

  17. 16a :  remove take eggs from a nestb (1) :  to put an end to (life) (2) :  to remove by death was taken in his primec :  subtract take two from fourd :  exact the weather took its toll

  18. 17a :  to undertake and make, do, or perform take a walk take aim take legal action take a test take a lookb :  to participate in take a meeting

  19. 18a :  to deal with take first things firstb :  to consider or view in a particular relation taken together, the details were significant; especially :  to consider as an example take style, for instancec (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

  20. 19 :  to obtain money from especially fraudulently took me for all I had

  21. 20 :  to pass or attempt to pass through, along, or over took the curve too fast take the stairs two at a time

  22. intransitive verb
  23. 1 :  to obtain possession: such asa :  captureb :  to receive property under law as one's own

  24. 2 :  to lay hold :  catch, hold

  25. 3 :  to establish a take especially by uniting or growing 90 percent of the grafts take

  26. 4a :  to betake oneself :  set out :  go take after a purse snatcherb chiefly dialectal —used as an intensifier or redundantly with a following verb took and swung at the ball

  27. 5a :  to take effect :  act, operate hoped the lesson he taught would takeb :  to show the natural or intended effect dry fuel takes readily

  28. 6 :  charm, captivate a taking smile

  29. 7 :  detract

  30. 8 :  to be seized or attacked in a specified way :  become took sick



take a back seat

  1. :  to have or assume a secondary position or status

take a bath

  1. :  to suffer a heavy financial loss

take account of

  1. :  to take into account

take advantage of

  1. 1 :  to use to advantage :  profit by

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

take after

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

take a hike

or less commonly

take a walk

  1. :  to go away :  leave

take aim at

  1. :  target 1 new legislation that takes aim at crime

take apart

  1. 1 :  to disconnect the pieces of :  disassemble

  2. 2 :  to treat roughly or harshly :  tear into

take a powder

  1. :  to leave hurriedly

take care

  1. :  to be careful or watchful :  exercise caution or prudence

take care of

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

take charge

  1. :  to assume care, custody, command, or control

take effect

  1. 1 :  to become operative

  2. 2 :  to be effective

take exception

  1. :  object took exception to the remark

take five


take ten

  1. :  to take a break especially from work

take for

  1. :  to suppose to be; especially :  to suppose mistakenly to be

take for a ride

  1. :  trick, cheat

take for granted

  1. 1 :  to assume as true, real, or expected

  2. 2 :  to value too lightly

take heart

  1. :  to gain courage or confidence

take hold

  1. 1 :  grasp, grip, seize

  2. 2 :  to become attached or established :  take effect

take into account

  1. :  to make allowance for

take in vain

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

take issue

take it on the chin

  1. :  to suffer from the results of a situation

take kindly to

  1. :  to show an inclination to accept or approve

take no prisoners

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

take notice of

  1. :  to observe or treat with special attention

take one's time

  1. :  to be leisurely about doing something

take part

take place

take root

  1. 1 :  to become rooted

  2. 2 :  to become fixed or established

take shape

  1. :  to assume a definite or distinctive form

take ship

  1. :  set out on a voyage by ship

take the cake

  1. :  to carry off the prize :  rank first

take the count

  1. 1 of a boxer :  to be counted out

  2. 2 :  to go down in defeat

take the floor

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

take the mickey


  1. :  joke, kid

take the mickey out of


  1. :  to make fun of :  tease

take the plunge

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

take to

  1. 1 :  to go to or into take to the woods

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

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

  4. 4 :  to conceive a liking for

take to court

  1. :  to bring before a judicial body; especially :  sue 3

take to task

  1. :  to call to account for a shortcoming :  criticize

take to the cleaners

  1. :  to deprive of money or possessons :  clean out

take turns

Examples of take in a Sentence

  1. She took her things to her room.

  2. It looks like rain. You had better take an umbrella with you.

  3. This bus takes you downtown.

  4. Her office is down that hallway. I can take you there, if you want me to.

  5. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

  6. She took us for a ride in her new car.

  7. He's not the kind of guy you can take home to meet your parents.

  8. She took her child to one side and scolded him.

  9. I took the pen and signed my name.

  10. Take the pan by the handle.

Recent Examples of take from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of take

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

Synonym Discussion of 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




Definition of take

  1. 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. 2 :  an act or the action of taking: such asa (1) :  the uninterrupted photographing or televising of a scene (2) :  the making of a sound recordingb :  the action of killing, capturing, or catching something (such as game or fish)

  3. 3 :  something that is taken:a :  the amount of money received :  proceeds, receipts, incomeb :  share, cut wanted a bigger takec (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 recordingd :  the number or quantity (as of animals, fish, or pelts) taken at one time :  catch, haule :  a section or installment done as a unit or at one time

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

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

on the take

  1. :  illegally paid for favors

Examples of take in a Sentence

  1. It took us 20 takes to get the scene right.

  2. She nailed it on the first take.

  3. He stands to earn 10 percent of the company's $1 million take on the deal.

  4. She was expecting a bigger take.

Recent Examples of take from the Web

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.

First Known Use of take


Financial Definition of TAKE


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.

TAKE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈtāk\

Definition of take for Students






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

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

  3. 3 :  to get control of :  capture took the fort

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

  5. 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. 6 :  to begin to perform the responsibilities of :  assume She took charge. A new mayor took office.

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

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

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

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

  11. 11 :  to come upon We took them by surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  23. 23 :  subtract Take 2 from 4.

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

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

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

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



take advantage of

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

  2. 2 :  to treat (someone) unfairly

take after

  1. :  resemble Many children take after their parents.

take back

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

take care

  1. :  to be careful

take care of

  1. :  to do what is needed :  look after

take charge

  1. :  to assume care or control

take effect

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

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

take for granted

  1. :  to assume as true, real, or expected

take hold

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

take in

  1. 1 :  to make smaller She took the dress in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

take off

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

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

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

take on

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

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

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

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

take over

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

take part

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

take place

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

take up

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

  2. 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. 3 :  to change by making tighter or shorter She needs to take up the dress in the back.




Definition of take for Students

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

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

Medical Dictionary



intransitive verb \ˈtāk\

Medical Definition of take


\ˈtu̇k\play ;


\ˈtā-kən\play ;


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

  2. 2of a vaccine or vaccination :  to produce a take




Medical Definition of take

  1. 1:  a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination

  2. 2:  a successful union (as of a graft)

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of take




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  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

  3. 2a :  to undertake the duties of take office b :  to bind oneself by take an oath

  4. 3 :  to get in writing

  5. 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)

  6. 5a :  to set in motion take an appeal b :  to claim or exercise as an option or right take depreciation

  7. 6 :  to put or set forth take an exception

  8. intransitive verb
  9. :  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

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

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an extremely thin woman

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