take on

verb
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
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 No matter the season, bring layers to take on Telluride’s many activities and to stay comfortable in the Colorado sun, snow, and cool evenings. Dallas News, "What To Pack -- A Telluride Seasonal Guide," 14 Jan. 2020 Those numbers aren’t easy to replicate, but the Ducks need to find someone to take on the task and there isn’t a sure-fire answer on the roster. oregonlive, "Who replaces Blake Maimone as Oregon’s punter in 2020?," 13 Jan. 2020 The Seattle Seahawks, led by Russell Wilson, will travel to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to take on the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers at 6:40 p.m. TheWeek, "NFL's future, present on display Sunday thanks to a pair thrilling QB matchups," 12 Jan. 2020 That's why some experts are urging investors to take on a bit more risk and buy stocks that offer high dividends. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Bond yields are really low. What's an investor craving yield to do?," 10 Jan. 2020 That was one of Hanks’s most transfixing performances of the past decade, but News of the World is a departure for Greengrass, who often prefers to take on true-story dramas. David Sims, The Atlantic, "25 Movies to Look Forward to in 2020," 7 Jan. 2020 Intel is—or should be—worried about AMD’s barrage of CES announcements, including the Ryzen 4000 7nm/Zen 2 mobile chips expected to take on Intel, and the ridiculously powerful 64-core 3rd-gen Ryzen Threadripper 3990WX. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel confirms 'Tiger Lake' is the next Intel Core processor you need to care about," 7 Jan. 2020 Farther out in space, meanwhile, the study of exoplanets started to take on the characteristics of a true science, and the origin of many of the elements in the periodic table, in collisions between black holes and neutron stars, became clearer. The Economist, "Of anniversaries and climate change 2019 in review: science and technology," 30 Dec. 2019 But the company doesn't have the resources to take on that task. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Music storage startup Murfie shut down and customers have to pay to get their CDs back," 19 Dec. 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.

See More

First Known Use of take on

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about take on

Time Traveler for take on

Time Traveler

The first known use of take on was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Statistics for take on

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Take on.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taken%20on. Accessed 27 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on take on

What made you want to look up take on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that suddenly gains wealth or power

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!