task

noun
\ ˈtask How to pronounce task (audio) \
plural tasks

Definition of task

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually assigned piece of work often to be finished within a certain time
b : something hard or unpleasant that has to be done
c : duty, function
2 : subjection to adverse criticism : reprimand … the state government was called to task for not doing more to help the area around the casinos.— Stephanie Powers In the NFL, coaches often aren't brought to task for their worst decisions even after games.— Rodger Sherman — see also take to task

task

verb
tasked; tasking; tasks

Definition of task (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to assign a task to employees tasked with updating the files
2 : to oppress with great labor tasks his mind with petty details
3 obsolete : to impose a tax on

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Synonyms for task

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for task

Noun

task, duty, job, chore, stint, assignment mean a piece of work to be done. task implies work imposed by a person in authority or an employer or by circumstance. charged with a variety of tasks duty implies an obligation to perform or responsibility for performance. the duties of a lifeguard job applies to a piece of work voluntarily performed; it may sometimes suggest difficulty or importance. the job of turning the company around chore implies a minor routine activity necessary for maintaining a household or farm. every child was assigned chores stint implies a carefully allotted or measured quantity of assigned work or service. a 2-month stint as a reporter assignment implies a definite limited task assigned by one in authority. a reporter's assignment

Examples of task in a Sentence

Noun Our first task is to review the budget. one of my tasks in the morning is to make lunches for everyone in the family Verb I have been tasked by the host with bringing the pies for Thanksgiving this year.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those random-looking squiggles seem to symbolise the impenetrability of the language, the difficulty of the task ahead. The Economist, "The real reasons some languages are harder to learn," 8 May 2021 Businesses, too, increasingly plan to rely heavily on trees to offset their emissions in lieu of the harder task of cutting corporate pollution. ProPublica, "The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere," 4 May 2021 But tracking the path of the asteroid was only part of the task. Mike Wehner, BGR, "NASA simulated an asteroid headed for Earth and has bad news for us," 3 May 2021 President Joe Biden's call for Congress to pass police reform legislation by the anniversary of George Floyd's killing adds urgency to the task of federal lawmakers and the Minnesota delegation to find an agreement. Hunter Woodall, Star Tribune, "Biden's police reform deadline puts pressure on Congress," 3 May 2021 But the scale of the task facing the new administration was underlined by North Korea’s angry statement from Pyongyang on Sunday, in which Kwon said Biden’s comments already revealed that little would change from the regime’s point of view. Washington Post, "North Korea threatens response to Biden’s ‘hostile’ policy," 2 May 2021 But the pace is hindered mostly by the sheer complexity of the task: starting a huge pop-up program that reaches millions of tenants, verifies their debts and wins over landlords whose interests are not always the same as their renters’. New York Times, "Federal Aid to Renters Moves Slowly, Leaving Many at Risk," 25 Apr. 2021 Some of us eagerly await a free Saturday to tackle a long list of transformative DIY fun, while others recoil in fear at the mere mention of a do-it-yourself task. Jorie Nicole Mcdonald, Southern Living, "How To Make A DIY Hobnail Lamp," 14 Apr. 2021 The scale of the task is revealed in recent Border Patrol figures that show about 19,000 children and 53,000 family members traveling together were detained last month. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Voters turn against Biden over handling of child migrant surge," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The bill would task the State Department with identifying opportunities to expand last year’s Abraham Accords, as well as obstacles. Ron Kampeas, sun-sentinel.com, "In Congress, bipartisan support grows for bills backing expanded Israeli-Arab ties," 21 Apr. 2021 In addition to studying reparations, the measure would task a commission with studying the harms caused to black people by both slavery and subsequent racial discrimination. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "House set to vote for slavery reparations commission," 12 Apr. 2021 Yet without a clear vision of how each technology works alongside the next and without a clear understanding of which technologies offload which task best, technology’s cacophony can be deafening and confusing. Forrester, Forbes, "Why The Tech-Enhanced Sales Rep Will Be Your Differentiator," 9 Apr. 2021 Simultaneously, just 2 miles across town, representatives of his party were entreating the country’s president to task him with forming Israel’s next government. BostonGlobe.com, "Defendant number one or next prime minister? Netanyahu divides Israel," 5 Apr. 2021 Simultaneously, just two miles across town, representatives of his party were entreating the country’s president to task him with forming Israel’s next government. New York Times, "Defendant No. 1 or Next Prime Minister? Netanyahu Divides Israel," 5 Apr. 2021 The new stimulus would task the SBA with another round of responsibilities, including the administration of a $25 billion-plus fund for restaurants that have seen precipitous drops in dining because of coronavirus restrictions. Anchorage Daily News, "With congressional stimulus bill approval imminent, Biden prepares to send checks but big challenges loom," 10 Mar. 2021 Biden is also likely to task specific federal agencies with beginning work to rewrite Trump-era environmental rollbacks, set stricter emissions mandates, limit fossil fuel production, and ramp up clean energy generation. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Here's what Biden is promising to do to curb emissions in his first days in office," 26 Dec. 2020 The new rules task most employers in the state with assessing and fixing workplace hazards that would spread the coronavirus. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "California sued over new coronavirus workplace rules," 16 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'task.' 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 task

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for task

Noun

Middle English taske, from Middle French dialect (Picardy, Flanders) tasque, from Medieval Latin tasca tax or service imposed by a feudal superior, alteration of *taxa, from taxare to tax

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Time Traveler for task

Time Traveler

The first known use of task was in the 14th century

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Statistics for task

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Task.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/task. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for task

task

noun

English Language Learners Definition of task

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of work that has been given to someone : a job for someone to do

task

verb

English Language Learners Definition of task (Entry 2 of 2)

: to assign (someone) a piece of work : to give (someone) a job to do

task

noun
\ ˈtask How to pronounce task (audio) \

Kids Definition of task

: a piece of work that has been assigned, needs to be done, or presents a challenge On Saturdays Claudia emptied the wastebaskets, a task she despised.— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Choose the Right Synonym for task

task, duty, and job mean a piece of work assigned or to be done. task is used for work given by a person in a position of authority. The boss used to give me every difficult task. duty is used when a person has responsibility to do the work. The duty of police is to protect people. job may mean that the work is necessary, hard, or important. We all have to do our job.

task

noun
\ ˈtask How to pronounce task (audio) \

Medical Definition of task

: the performance that is required of the subject in a psychological experiment or test and that is usually communicated to a human subject by verbal instructions

More from Merriam-Webster on task

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for task

Nglish: Translation of task for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of task for Arabic Speakers

Comments on task

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