take on


Definition of take on

transitive verb

1a : to begin to perform or deal with : undertake took on new responsibilities
b : to contend with as an opponent took on the neighborhood bully
2 : engage, hire
3a : to assume or acquire as or as if one's own the city's plaza takes on a carnival air— W. T. LeViness
b : to have as a mathematical domain or range what values does the function take on

intransitive verb

: to show one's feelings especially of grief or anger in a demonstrative way she cried, and took on like a distracted body— Daniel Defoe

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Synonyms for take on


battle, encounter, engage, face, meet

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Examples of take on in a Sentence

will take on his chief opponent in the next political debate decided to take her on as store manager

Recent Examples on the Web

It’s hard to imagine any other designer hanging out with her customers like this, taking on the role of adviser or mentor, or even shopping buddy. Alex Kuczynski, Town & Country, "Diane and Talita von Furstenberg Turn an American Empire into a Family Dynasty," 7 Feb. 2019 Smoke damage on cabinets can often be scrubbed clean, but any organic material can take on the smell of smoke and linger for days. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get the Smoke Smell Out of Your House," 14 Nov. 2018 The Baxter’s middle daughter Mandy, who was formerly portrayed by Molly Ephraim, is now played by Molly McCook; Jet Jurgensmeyer took on the role of grandson Boyd; and Krista Marie Yu joined the cast as a foreign exchange student named Jen. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Why Last Man Standing's Eve Baxter Has Been Missing This Season," 9 Nov. 2018 His party, the ex-ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, meanwhile, lost in parliamentary elections this summer and has now taken on the mantle of the opposition to new Prime Minister Imran Khan's government. Zarar Khan, Fox News, "Pakistan court suspends prison sentence, frees ex-PM Sharif," 19 Sep. 2018 At Maison Margiela, John Galliano has taken on the role of disruptor and is exploring the boundaries of dimensions and technology. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "5 Takeaways From Spring 2019 Couture," 26 Jan. 2019 Looking for a lighter take on a sweet potato casserole? Joy Bauer, Ms, Woman's Day, "Mashed Sweet Potato and Carrots," 23 Jan. 2019 Kensington Palace shared three further charity roles that Duchess Meghan has taken on, announcing her as Royal Patron of the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and animal welfare organization Mayhew. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Duchess Meghan Selected Her First Four Royal Patronages," 10 Jan. 2019 PRNewsfoto/NET Power, LLC Climate change is unquestionably a sprawling, incredibly urgent global problem, and the transition away from fossil fuels is the biggest challenge humanity has ever taken on. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Climate and energy news in 2018 actually wasn’t all bad," 1 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'take on.' 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 on

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for take on

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for take on

The first known use of take on was in 1567

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More from Merriam-Webster on take on

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with take on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for take on

Nglish: Translation of take on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of take on for Arabic Speakers

Comments on take on

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marked by fawning attentiveness

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