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

While adequately describing the infinite textures of any individual’s life is an impossible task, Lynch’s life might present a particular challenge because so many other people’s lives have been devoted to making his possible. Charlotte Shane, The New Republic, "Living in David Lynch’s Art Life," 26 June 2018 As a young and untested leader, Sanchez needs to bolster his leadership credentials ahead of the next general election in two years—a difficult task given the Socialists control only one-quarter of Parliament. Joseph Zeballos-roig, The New Republic, "How to Dig Up a Dictator," 11 July 2018 Scott has long been calling for more crime reports to be taken online or over the phone, which could free up officers to carry out other tasks. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police assign 115 extra officers to patrol the streets in hopes of curbing overtime spending, crime," 11 July 2018 Scott has long been calling for more crime reports to be taken online or over the phone, which could free up officers to carry out other tasks. Ian Duncan, Washington Post, "Baltimore Police assign extra officers to patrol the streets in hopes of curbing overtime spending, crime," 11 July 2018 Other tasks that have to be completed before the end of the year include completing a strategic plan, creating an advisory council of major donors, creating an institutional marketing plan and installing a fundraising process. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "After a bumpy season, the San Antonio Symphony in a stronger, sunnier place," 3 July 2018 The couple targeted the vulnerable seniors, sold them personal care services for bathing, grocery shopping and other daily tasks and did little more than take a collective $250,000 from them, authorities say. Erika Pesantes, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Couple exploited at least 50 seniors in home health care scam, officials say," 21 June 2018 Something is missing from the fermentation, microbiology and enzyme labs: With robotic arms and other equipment performing repetitive measurements and other tasks, there are fewer technicians. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "DuPont spends $200M+ to create its future in historic Experimental Station," 18 June 2018 But other important tasks take place in private, in the hours after a family has suffered a tragedy. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford Woman Who Lost Her Son To Gun Violence Comforts Others Who Suffer Tragedies," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The party’s latest target, the Supreme Court, is tasked with validating election results. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "By staying on the job, Poland's top judge fights the right-wing government," 13 July 2018 The Explorers group is tasked with increasing the number of black male students graduating from high school, helping them in the college admissions process, and increasing their chances of earning college degrees, according to its website. Tiana Headley, miamiherald, "He’s always loved art. Through this program, he got to meet a museum head," 11 July 2018 Judge Pauley is tasked with approving a settlement between the New York City Housing Authority and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York about health-and-safety issues in public housing. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "New York Public-Housing Settlement Draws Judge’s Skepticism," 10 July 2018 In my view, each taxing body is tasked with providing a certain level of services and certain items. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park votes to fund township youth intervention program; River Forest ends its contribution," 10 July 2018 The unit is tasked with training and assisting the Afghan army. Mujib Mashal, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Insider attack’ kills US service member in Afghanistan," 8 July 2018 The hero, an American secret agent named Condorman, is tasked with helping a Soviet spy (Barbara Carrera) defect to the West. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 24 most forgettable superheroes in movies," 5 July 2018 The panel is tasked with offering nonbinding suggestions on the city’s biggest development proposals as part of Philadelphia’s planning process. Jacob Adelman, Philly.com, "Auto sales proposed below new apartments in Northern Liberties," 3 July 2018 And in the 1920s, young William Paley was tasked with growing the cigar business. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Gimlet founders Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber on Recode Media," 27 June 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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Phrases Related to task

the task at hand

Statistics for task

Last Updated

23 Oct 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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