take

1 of 2

verb

took ˈtu̇k How to pronounce take (audio) ; taken ˈtā-kən How to pronounce take (audio) ; taking

transitive verb

1
: to get into one's hands or into one's possession, power, or control: such as
a
: to seize or capture physically
took them as prisoners
b
: to get possession of (fish or game) by killing or capturing
c(1)
: to move against (an opponent's piece, as in chess) and remove from play
(2)
: to win in a card game
able to take 12 tricks
d
: to acquire by eminent domain
2
: grasp, grip
take the ax by the handle
3
a
: to catch or attack through the effect of a sudden force or influence
taken with a fit of laughing
taken ill
b
: to catch or come upon in a particular situation or action
was taken unawares
c
: to gain the approval or liking of : captivate, delight
was quite taken with her at their first meeting
4
a
: to receive into one's body (as by swallowing, drinking, or inhaling)
take a pill
b
: to put oneself into (sun, air, water, etc.) for pleasure or physical benefit
c
: to partake of : eat
takes dinner about seven
5
a
: to bring or receive into a relation or connection
takes just four students a year
it's time he took a wife
b
: to copulate with
6
: to transfer into one's own keeping:
a
: appropriate
someone took my hat
b
: to obtain or secure for use (as by lease, subscription, or purchase)
take a cottage for the summer
I'll take the red one
took an ad in the paper
7
a
: assume
gods often took the likeness of a human being
when the college took its present form
b(1)
: to enter into or undertake the duties of
take a job
take office
(2)
: to move onto or into : move into position on
the home team took the field
take the witness stand
c(1)
: to bind oneself by
take the oath of office
(2)
: to make (a decision) especially with finality or authority
d
: to impose upon oneself
take the trouble to do good work
take pains to make her feel welcome
e(1)
: to adopt as one's own
take a stand on the issue
take an interest
(2)
: to align or ally oneself with
mother took his side
f
: to assume as if rightfully one's own or as if granted
take the credit
g
: to accept the burden or consequences of
took the blame
h
: to have or assume as a proper part of or accompaniment to itself
transitive verbs take an object
8
a
: to secure by winning in competition
took first place
b
: defeat
9
: to pick out : choose, select
took the best apple
10
: to adopt, choose, or avail oneself of for use: such as
a
: to have recourse to as an instrument for doing something
take a scythe to the weeds
b
: to use as a means of transportation or progression
take the bus
c
: to have recourse to for safety or refuge
take shelter
d
: to go along, into, or through
took a different route
e(1)
: to proceed to occupy
take a seat in the rear
(2)
: to use up (space, time, etc.)
takes a long time to dry
(3)
: need, require
takes a size nine shoe
it takes two to start a fight
11
a
: to obtain by deriving from a source : draw
takes its title from the name of the hero
b(1)
: to obtain as the result of a special procedure : ascertain
take the temperature
take a census
(2)
: to get in or as if in writing
take notes
take an inventory
(3)
: to get by drawing or painting or by photography
take a snapshot
(4)
: to get by transference from one surface to another
take a proof
take fingerprints
12
: to receive or accept whether willingly or reluctantly
take a bribe
will you take this call
take a bet
: such as
a(1)
: to submit to : endure
take a cut in pay
(2)
: withstand
it will take a lot of punishment
(3)
: suffer
took a direct hit
b(1)
: to accept as true : believe
I'll take your word for it
(2)
: follow
take my advice
(3)
: to accept or regard with the mind in a specified way
took the news hard
you take yourself too seriously
c
: to indulge in and enjoy
was taking his ease on the porch
d
: to receive or accept as a return (as in payment, compensation, or reparation)
we don't take credit cards
e
: to accept in a usually professional relationship
often used with on
agreed to take him on as a client
f
: to refrain from hitting at (a pitched ball)
take a strike
13
a(1)
: to let in : admit
the boat was taking water fast
(2)
: accommodate
the suitcase wouldn't take another thing
b
: to be affected injuriously by (something, such as a disease) : contract
take cold
also : to be seized by
take a fit
take fright
c
: to absorb or become impregnated with (something, such as dye)
also : to be effectively treated by
a surface that takes a fine polish
14
a
: apprehend, understand
how should I take your remark
b
: consider, suppose
I take it you're not going
c
: reckon, accept
taking a stride at 30 inches
d
: feel, experience
take pleasure
take an instant dislike to someone
take offense
15
a
: to lead, carry, or cause to go along to another place
this bus will take you into town
took an umbrella with her
b
: to cause to move to a specified state, condition, or sphere of activity
took the company public
took his team to the finals
c
: to invite and accompany (someone)
She took me to the movies.
He took her on a date.
They took the kids to the movies.
often + out
He took her out to dinner.
d
: to stop prescribing a specified regimen to
used with off
took him off the medication
16
a
: remove
take eggs from a nest
b(1)
: to put an end to (life)
(2)
: to remove by death
was taken in his prime
c
: subtract
take two from four
d
: exact
the weather took its toll
17
a
: to undertake and make, do, or perform
take a walk
take aim
take legal action
take a test
take a look
b
: to participate in
take a meeting
18
a
: to deal with
take first things first
b
: to consider or view in a particular relation
taken together, the details were significant
especially : to consider as an example
take style, for instance
c(1)
: to apply oneself to the study of
take music lessons
take French
(2)
: to study for especially successfully
taking a degree in engineering
took holy orders
19
: to obtain money from especially fraudulently
took me for all I had
20
: to pass or attempt to pass through, along, or over
took the curve too fast
take the stairs two at a time

intransitive verb

1
: to obtain possession: such as
a
b
: to receive property under law as one's own
2
: to lay hold : catch, hold
3
: to establish a take especially by uniting or growing
90 percent of the grafts take
4
a
: to betake oneself : set out : go
take after a purse snatcher
b
chiefly dialectal
used as an intensifier or redundantly with a following verb
took and swung at the ball
5
a
: to take effect : act, operate
hoped the lesson he taught would take
b
: to show the natural or intended effect
dry fuel takes readily
6
: charm, captivate
a taking smile
7
8
: to be seized or attacked in a specified way : become
took sick
taker noun

see also take a back seat, take a bath, take account of, take advantage of, take after, take a hike, take aim at, take apart, take a powder, take care, take care of, take charge, take effect, take exception, take five, take for, take for granted, take form, take heart, take hold, take in vain, take issue, take it on the chin, take kindly to, take no prisoners, take-no-prisoners, take notice, take one's time, take part, take place, take root, take shape, take ship, take the cake, take the count, take the floor, take the mickey (out of someone), take the plunge, take to, take to court, take to task, take to the cleaners, take turns

take

2 of 2

noun

1
: a distinct or personal point of view, outlook, or assessment
was asked for her take on recent developments
also : a distinct treatment or variation
a new take on an old style
2
: an act or the action of taking: such as
a(1)
: the uninterrupted photographing or televising of a scene
(2)
: the making of a sound recording
b
: the action of killing, capturing, or catching something (such as game or fish)
3
: something that is taken:
a
: the amount of money received : proceeds, receipts, income
b
: share, cut
wanted a bigger take
c(1)
: a scene filmed or televised at one time without stopping the camera
(2)
: a sound recording made during a single recording period
especially : a trial recording
d
: the number or quantity (as of animals, fish, or pelts) taken at one time : catch, haul
e
: a section or installment done as a unit or at one time
4
a
: a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination (as against smallpox)
b
: a successful union (as of a graft)
5
: a visible response or reaction (as to something unexpected)
a delayed take
Phrases
on the take
: illegally paid for favors
Choose the Right Synonym for take

take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand.

take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control.

take some salad from the bowl

seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible.

seized the suspect

grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession.

grasp the handle and pull

clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding.

clutching her purse

snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize.

snatched a doughnut and ran

grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch.

grabbed roughly by the arm

Examples of take in a Sentence

Verb She took her things to her room. It looks like rain. You had better take an umbrella with you. This bus takes you downtown. Her office is down that hallway. I can take you there, if you want me to. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She took us for a ride in her new car. He's not the kind of guy you can take home to meet your parents. She took her child to one side and scolded him. I took the pen and signed my name. Take the pan by the handle. Noun It took us 20 takes to get the scene right. She nailed it on the first take. He stands to earn 10 percent of the company's $1 million take on the deal. She was expecting a bigger take.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Lee Zeldin took the podium at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Wednesday to highlight his experience in Congress and the military, and why those have led the New York politician to support Donald Trump. Jj Hensley, USA TODAY, 18 July 2024 Gehrig had a good game, took Pipp’s starting role and then played 2,130 straight games, a record that stood until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 18 July 2024
Noun
In an effort to free the camera for elaborate shots like that 10-minute long take and unshackle it from the restrictions of boom microphones and other equipment that would normally need to be accommodated, Welles had his actors pre-record their dialogue and lip-sync to it on set. Jim Hemphill, IndieWire, 9 July 2024 But to set it in the preposterous [environment] of Hollywood, that feels like a fresh take — to see behind the curtain in a way. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for take 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'take.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Old English tacan, from Old Norse taka; akin to Middle Dutch taken to take

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of take was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near take

Cite this Entry

“Take.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

take

1 of 2 verb
took ˈtu̇k How to pronounce take (audio) ; taken ˈtā-kən How to pronounce take (audio) ; taking
1
: to lay hold of : grasp
take my hand
2
: capture entry 2 sense 1
take a fort
3
: win entry 1 sense 3a
take first prize
4
: to get possession of (as by buying, capturing, or killing)
took several trout with hook and line
5
: to seize and affect suddenly
taken with a fever
6
: captivate, delight
was much taken with the new neighbors
7
: extract entry 1 sense 4
take material from an encyclopedia
8
: subtract sense 1
take 78 from 112
9
: to put an end to (as life)
10
: to find out by testing or examining
take a patient's temperature
11
: select entry 1, choose
I took the red one
12
: assume sense 1
take office
take charge
13
a
: to let in and hold : admit, accommodate
the boat was taking water fast
the suitcase won't take another thing
b
: to be affected harmfully by (as a disease) : contract
take a cold
c
: to become soaked with or make part of itself : absorb
this cloth takes dye very well
plants take up water
14
: to be guided by : follow
take my advice
15
: to introduce into the body
take your medicine
16
a
: to submit to
took the punishment without complaining
b
: withstand
can take a lot of punishment
17
a
: to subscribe to
takes two newspapers
b
: to enroll in for study
take a course in history
take piano lessons
c
: to keep from swinging at (a baseball pitch)
take a strike
18
a
: understand sense 3, interpret
I took it to mean something different
b
: consider sense 3
wanted to be taken for a genius
19
: to react in a certain way
take pride in one's work
take offense
20
: to be formed or used with
this verb takes an object
21
: to lead, carry, or cause to go along to another place
take a package home
take me to your leader
22
a
: to make use of
take a vacation
b
: to proceed to occupy
take a chair
23
: need entry 2 sense 2, require
this job takes a lot of time
I take a larger size
24
: to obtain an image or copy of
take a photograph
take fingerprints
25
: to set out to make, do, or perform
take a walk
took a new job
26
: to set out or go
take after the escaped prisoner
27
: to have effect (as by absorption)
a dye that takes well
taker noun

take

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act or the action of taking
2
: something taken : proceeds, catch
3
a
: a scene filmed or televised at one time without stopping the camera
b
: a sound recording made during a single recording period
4
: mental response or reaction

Medical Definition

take

1 of 2 intransitive verb
took ˈtu̇k How to pronounce take (audio) ; taken ˈtā-kən How to pronounce take (audio) ; taking
1
: to establish a take especially by uniting or growing
with an experienced surgeon some 90 percent of the grafts takeLancet
2
of a vaccine or vaccination : to produce a take

take

2 of 2 noun
1
: a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination
2
: a successful union (as of a graft)

Legal Definition

take

verb
took; taken; taking

transitive verb

1
a
: to obtain control, custody, or possession of often by assertive or intentional means
b
: to seize or interfere with the use of (property) by governmental authority
specifically : to acquire title to for public use by eminent domain
2
a
: to undertake the duties of
take office
b
: to bind oneself by
take an oath
3
: to get in writing
4
a
: to accept the tender of (as a promise)
b
: to accept (as an oath, affidavit, or deposition) in a legal capacity (as by administering or witnessing)
5
a
: to set in motion
take an appeal
b
: to claim or exercise as an option or right
take depreciation
6
: to put or set forth
take an exception

intransitive verb

: to obtain ownership or possession of property
take free of a security interest
specifically : to receive the title to an estate
take as an heir

More from Merriam-Webster on take

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