take to task

idiomatic phrase

Definition of take to task

: to call (someone) to account for a shortcoming : to criticize or correct (someone) for some fault or failing The aunt had quarrelled years before with her brother-in-law, after the death of her sister, taking him to task for the manner in which he brought up his three girls.— Henry James … I … gently took him to task for forgetting my instructions …— Agatha Christie … Lawrence Solan … takes to task the Supreme Court of the United States for its incorrect linguistic analysis in three cases …— Bethany K. Dumas … two board members took group administrators to task for causing undue chaos in a public health crisis.— P. C. Robinson

First Known Use of take to task

1740, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of take to task was in 1740

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Dictionary Entries Near take to task

take to pieces

take to task

take to the cleaners

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Cite this Entry

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

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