task

noun
\ˈtask \

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 used in the expressions to take, call, or bring 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

assignment, chore, duty, job

Synonyms: Verb

assign, charge, commission, entrust (also intrust), trust

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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

Noun

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.

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

Just as on that maiden voyage, the team splits into three groups, with a professional crewmember leading watch duty or the daily tasks of cleaning and preparing meals. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 He was given the unenviable task of training his robotic replacements. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fallout 76 journal, day 4: the bombs are falling," 26 Nov. 2018 The government was now exploring whether the difficult task of raising the submarine would be possible. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Argentine Submarine San Juan Is Found," 18 Nov. 2018 Their majority lost, House Republicans will start the task of rebuilding. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Government funding, border wall await lame-duck Congress," 13 Nov. 2018 While studies have shown that having a pet can help you live longer, the day-to-day tasks of caring for a pet—constantly vacuuming up canine fur, mopping up muddy paw prints, and/or drying up drool—can be exhausting. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "If You Have A Pet, You Need This Doggy Room," 25 Oct. 2018 Hitch Guidance The hitch view camera provides a birds-eye-view of your hitch and trailer, and the new backing guideline adds precision to the tedious task of placing the ball below the hitch. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The Chevy Silverado's New Towing Tech Makes Attaching a Trailer a Breeze," 20 Sep. 2018 You, the debut film from musician Boots Riley, faces the difficult task of puncturing the ever-more-absurd heights of real-life oppression and inequality in America. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Dystopian Send-Up of Dystopias," 13 July 2018 That’s not a problem for Katya, who’s happy to tag along back to St. Petersburg where their relationship can get super-steamy as Hill attempts the delicate task of negotiating with Volkov. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Siberia': Film Review," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The measure tasks a state agency with studying uranium-processing operations and tailings storage in excruciating detail. WSJ, "Virginia Ignores Clear Federal Uranium Law," 25 Nov. 2018 After the company was formed in 2014, CEO Jia Yueting tasked five executives — Nick Sampson, Alan Cherry, Tom Wessner, Richard Kim, and Dag Reckhorn — with getting things rolling. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future’s last founding executive resigns, plans emergency fund for employees," 31 Oct. 2018 Look no further than Madam Satan, the witch tasked with swaying Sabrina toward the Church of Night, for your last-minute costume. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Why The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is the Perfect Last-Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration," 25 Oct. 2018 The Princess of York tasked Zac Posen with her second dress, a custom gown in what appears to be a soft shade of blush, rather than bridal white. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "All the Details of Eugenie's Second Wedding Dress–Compared to Meghan Markle's," 14 Oct. 2018 The person tasked with settling an estate should be responsible, organized and scrupulously ethical. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "How to write a will that won’t trigger a family feud," 24 Sep. 2018 Kelly tasked Joel & Son Fabrics in London along with additional Italian craftspeople with getting the imitation exactly right, according to People. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Prince Louis and Prince George Wore a Different Christening Gown Than Prince William," 9 July 2018 So, the politician tasked archaeologists to scout the motorway’s planned route. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I," 9 July 2018 Despite their chummy relationship, the next day Trump tasked someone else with firing Pruitt. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Scott Pruitt Shows Loyalty to Trump Protects You — But Only for So Long," 6 July 2018

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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Statistics for task

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for task

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

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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 \

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

task

noun
\ˈtask \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on task

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with task

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for task

Spanish Central: Translation of task

Nglish: Translation of task for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of task for Arabic Speakers

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