take five

idiomatic phrase

variants or take ten
US, informal
: to take a brief break (as from work)
They're locked in a fierce debate over the last scene of their film … when camp director and Hollywood veteran Sam Dalton finally orders them to take five.Megan Myers
Parry Aftab, the executive director of WiredSafety.org, offers these tips for dealing with troubling messages. … Take five. Instead of replying to a message that upsets you, step away and do something you enjoy for five minutes.Nicole Iorio
I could see his anger had nearly boiled over. … Coach Colby, who ran the defense, was the brave soul who stepped in. "Take ten," he said, placing a hand on Orlando's chest. "Cool off. Then suit up and meet at the fifty-yard line. Got it?"Brandon Terrell

Examples of take five in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Realistically, the project could take five to seven years, according to Ben Schafer, an engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University. Ben Finley and Brian Witte, Quartz, 29 Mar. 2024 Its original construction more than four decades past took five years and cost $316 million. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 27 Mar. 2024 The original Key Bridge took five years to build in the 1970s. Lori Aratani, Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2024 This versatile biscuit recipe only takes five ingredients to make. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 20 Mar. 2024 So, take five minutes upfront to map out the structure: Introduction: set the stage and frame the topic Main points: jot down 5-7 key points to cover Conclusion: recap and call readers to action Overall, having an outline in place makes writing 1000% easier. Jon Stojan, The Arizona Republic, 8 Mar. 2024 Historically, the city has had an engineering firm survey all of its streets by hand—a process that takes five years. Nick Rockel, Fortune, 19 Mar. 2024 The Chinese belief is that the bamboo tree takes five years to grow, mostly staying underground the first four years and then sprouting and growing quickly thereafter. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 26 Feb. 2024 Get The Recipe 35 of 70 Smothered Green Beans This side dish recipe is packed with flavor but only takes five ingredients to make. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 5 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'take five.' 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

1916, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of take five was in 1916

Dictionary Entries Near take five

Cite this Entry

“Take five.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20five. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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