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 & Antonyms for take on


assume, employ, engage, fee [chiefly Scottish], hire, lay on [chiefly British], pay, place, recruit, retain, sign (up or on)


ax (or axe), can, discharge, dismiss, fire, sack

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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

Here's what happened, plus a gynecologist's take on why this might occur. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Kristen Bell Fainted While Trying to Remove a Menstrual Cup," 1 Nov. 2018 Which is fitting, considering this is a very different take on Sabrina. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Netflix Has Hidden All Kinds Of Easter Eggs In The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina House," 25 Oct. 2018 Her electric magenta hue is an edgier take on the trend, and Thorne takes it even further with a perfectly matching lipstick. Devon Abelman, Allure, "28 Pretty Pink Hair-Color Ideas to Inspire Your Next Dye Job," 10 Oct. 2018 But even with all these accomplishments in her back pocket, Mackenzie tells GoodHousekeeping.com that taking on ballroom dancing was a whole different game. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars Juniors' Mackenzie Ziegler Gets Real About Her Struggles on the Show," 7 Oct. 2018 This will allow Japan’s destroyers to take on other roles, such as protecting the Japanese fleet from air attacks and anti-submarine warfare while still providing backup missile defense. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Japanese Destroyer Just Shot Down a Simulated Ballistic Missile," 18 Sep. 2018 Microsoft is even working on a multiscreen device, which could be a modern take on the old Courier concept. Tom Warren, The Verge, "This is Samsung’s foldable smartphone," 7 Nov. 2018 The new sub, SSN(X) will be a quiet, deep diving, heavily armed submarine meant to take on all comers in the mid 21st century. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy’s Next Attack Submarine Will Be Big, Expensive," 22 Oct. 2018 Built by Jack Meiselman, a local developer who built Palm Spring homes around the same time as the iconic Alexander Construction Company, the white-and-yellow structure is a simple take on 1950s style. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cheery midcentury modern in Palm Springs wants $659K," 10 Oct. 2018

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

5 Dec 2018

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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to enclose within walls

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