take on

took on; taken on; taking on; takes 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

Synonyms for take on


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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 There’s a neat lights-out bit where the women take on yet another anonymous collection of hapless men, in near-total darkness. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 6 Jan. 2022 Daniel, meanwhile, will break his promise to shut down Miyagido after losing the tournament (to be fair, Cobra Kai cheated) and reteam with an old rival to take on Cobra Kai. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The brand aims to help Black women debunk the superwoman archetype that many of us take on, sometimes to our own detriment. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 4 Jan. 2022 Oregon State attempts to extend its winning streak to three games when the Beavers take on Sacramento State at 3 p.m. Monday in Gill Coliseum. oregonlive, 3 Jan. 2022 There are also two other fire stations in the area that can take on this crew’s responsibilities. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Jan. 2022 There are differences between the goals that men and women take on. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 2 Jan. 2022 Following the cancellation of last week’s game versus Purdue Fort Wayne due to COVID-19 protocols within the Mastodons program, Michigan basketball will emerge from a 12-day break to take on Central Florida on Thursday. Paul Nasr, Detroit Free Press, 31 Dec. 2021 But not all types of space heaters are created equal: From compact desk pods that are easy to move to powerful towers that can take on larger rooms, the top picks can offer something for everyone. Kristin Granero, Glamour, 28 Dec. 2021

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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Time Traveler for take on

Time Traveler

The first known use of take on was in 1567

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Statistics for take on

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Take on.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20on. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on take on

Nglish: Translation of take on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of take on for Arabic Speakers


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