take advantage of

idiomatic phrase

: to make good use of (something) : to profit by (something)
take advantage of an opportunity
We took advantage of the warm weather and did some yard work.
: to impose on (someone) : to ask for or expect more than is fair or reasonable from (someone)
After a while, I began to think she was taking advantage of me.
He felt like he'd been taken advantage of.
: to use (something or someone) unfairly for personal gain
He took advantage of [=exploited] my lack of experience.
It adds that young people in care homes, with learning disabilities, those excluded from school or using drugs or alcohol are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by people who take advantage of them for money, food or drugs.Stephen Naysmith
: to exploit (someone) sexually
The star shared her experiences of Hollywood bosses who tried to take advantage of her in the early days of her career.The Belfast Telegraph Online

Example Sentences

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These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'take advantage of.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of take advantage of was in 1618

Dictionary Entries Near take advantage of

Cite this Entry

“Take advantage of.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20advantage%20of. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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