\ ˈtāk How to pronounce take (audio) \
took\ ˈtu̇k How to pronounce took (audio) \; taken\ ˈtā-​kən How to pronounce taken (audio) \; 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 onagreed 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 invite and accompany (someone) She took me to the movies. He took her on a date. They took the kids to the movies. often + outHe took her out to dinner.
d : to stop prescribing a specified regimen to used with offtook 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
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 verbtook 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
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
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
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 1
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

Synonyms: Noun

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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

Verb 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. Noun 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 Roger Deakins won, as predicted, for the sheer technical achievement of shooting the film to look as if it was entirely shot in one take. Lara Horwitz, NBC News, "Roger Deakins wins for best cinematography," 12 Feb. 2020 The two made the movie appear as if it was shot in a single take, earning a tremendous amount of praise from critics. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Could ‘1917’ win the Oscar for best picture? The case for Sam Mendes’s WWI drama.," 5 Feb. 2020 The responses to my take yesterday about the fight at the end of the Kansas-K State game were knee-jerk predictable. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Big night for UC, Xavier basketball with six weeks left to audition," 23 Jan. 2020 My take is to choose precision bullet placement first, bullet construction for desired terminal performance second, and on-target energy last. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "Best Calibers For Africa Plains Game," 13 Jan. 2020 Wondering Daughter Dear Daughter: My take is that your father needs a party, stat! Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Almost-ex-wife wants to warn the next woman," 11 Jan. 2020 For this take, Solveig bumps the pulsing keys with a driving club rhythm and funkalicious vocal chop hook. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Anabel Englund and Jamie Jones, Steve Aoki and Sting, G Jones & More," 6 Dec. 2019 Shortly after lifting off for the inaugural take, their balloon collided with a patch of trees, sending the pair hurtling toward the ground for a crash-landing. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "How Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne made The Aeronauts a death-defying act of chemistry in the sky," 5 Dec. 2019 Keep everything in the same color family, a nod to this year’s monochromatic trend, for an extra-fresh take. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Every Fashion Girl Is Wearing Knee-High Boots Right Now," 3 Dec. 2019

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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Learn More about take

Time Traveler for take

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for take

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Take.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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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


How to pronounce take (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of take

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to carry or move (something) to a place
: to carry and give (something) to a person
: to carry, move, or lead (someone) to a place



English Language Learners Definition of take (Entry 2 of 2)

: the way that a particular person thinks about or understands something : a distinct point of view
: a particular way of dealing with or treating something
: a scene that is filmed or a song that is recorded at one time without stopping


\ ˈtāk How to pronounce take (audio) \
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.

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\ ˈtāk How to pronounce take (audio) \
took\ ˈtu̇k How to pronounce took (audio) \; taken\ ˈtā-​kən How to pronounce taken (audio) \; 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)


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for take

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with take

Spanish Central: Translation of take

Nglish: Translation of take for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of take for Arabic Speakers

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