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

business, capacity, function, job, part, place, position, purpose, role (also rôle), work

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

The swarms of low-cost, disposable flying objects could perform tasks that no single spacecraft can do on its own. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "The Tiny Satellites That Might Fly to Another Solar System," 18 Oct. 2018 Now a slew of companies including Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One have surfaced to take on the task. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "A quick guide to hyperloops, Richard Branson’s latest boondoggle," 12 Oct. 2018 While the Queen struggles with her failing health, one of her closest confidants, Lady Sarah (played by Rachel Weisz), takes on the task of governing the country while also tending to Anne's growing demands. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Olivia Colman Plays (Another) British Queen in the Upcoming Drama The Favourite," 10 Aug. 2018 Sonos’ Sound Experience Lead Giles Martin and sound engineer Chris Jenkins collaborated with Nasdaq on the task of picking a new jingle to mark the opening and closing of the market. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sonos redesigned the Nasdaq opening bell to mark IPO," 2 Aug. 2018 The first task in climate adaptation is to overcome fatalism by creating community ties to build endurance and find solutions. The Christian Science Monitor, "Thai cave rescue: a metaphor on climate adaptation," 9 July 2018 The rest fall somewhere in between, depending on the task. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez can throw with either hand. What does that say about his brain?," 3 July 2018 The tasks were different every day, from having lunch with an old friend, exercising for 30 minutes or putting together a playlist of happy songs. Houston Chronicle, "Bernstein Realty agents, staff complete Positivity Challenge," 1 July 2018 By 2013, the Internet meant there was a way to reach many more eyeballs, particularly if Red Bull could be persuaded to take on that task. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There is no internal committee part of the board that is tasked with investigating reports of fraudulent goods. Alexandra Mondalek, Vox, "Fake turquoise jewelry is hurting Native Americans economically," 24 Oct. 2018 The 36 adults who were tasked with treating others showed lower blood pressure than the 37 who were assigned to spend money on themselves. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "How Random Acts of Kindness Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing," 1 Aug. 2018 It will be led by EVP, scripted and unscripted television, Patrick Reardon, who has been tasked to build and lead the division with a focus on developing and producing scripted and unscripted content. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Roc Nation Launches Television Division," 2 May 2018 Harold Goodman, who was tasked with solving the murder had a suspect from the outset named Jack O’Shea, the man who had registered the room at the time of the death. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "True crime: The 'dresser drawer murder' at the Claypool Hotel," 13 July 2018 That seems perfect for someone who is tasked with upgrading a computer assistant. James Vincent, The Verge, "Apple’s new AI chief might actually be the right person to fix Siri," 11 July 2018 Johnson’s departure came less than 24 hours after that of another key Cabinet member, David Davis, who was tasked with overseeing Brexit. Laura King, latimes.com, "British Prime Minister May's government appears in turmoil amid resignations tied to Brexit," 9 July 2018 In steps Fernando Hierro, who is tasked with bringing Spain together after such chaos so close to the tournament. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "LIVE: Portugal, Spain Clash in High-Profile World Cup Group B Opener," 15 June 2018 The interactions are a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, who was originally tasked with examining possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia in the election. Mark Mazzetti, New York Times, "Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election," 19 May 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

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on task

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