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

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 Participants will learn how to create vector illustrations and logos, among other basic tasks. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Business agenda," 14 June 2018 In the past, regulators have been wary about Comcast’s ownership of major entertainment channels as well as high-speed internet lines that consumers depend on for entertainment and other important tasks, such as schoolwork and applying for jobs. Meg James, latimes.com, "Brian Roberts has been the force behind Comcast's growth. Now he's in the hunt for Fox," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The pensions committee has been tasked with coming up with a solution by November that Congress could vote on before the end of the year. Washington Post, "Thousands rally in Ohio for solution to pension crisis," 12 July 2018 All boats have been tasked with moving people off the island. Mike James, USA TODAY, "Woman climbs base of the Statue of Liberty after ICE protest," 4 July 2018 The top military brass is not involved as yet, and the Pentagon has not been tasked with figuring out how to execute any option. chicagotribune.com, "U.S. assessing cost of keeping troops in Germany as Trump battles with Europe," 29 June 2018 Past cases have established that nuisance suits cannot be brought against emitters of greenhouse gases because the EPA has been tasked with regulating the impacts of these emissions. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Judge rules that sea-level rise doesn’t fall under public nuisance laws," 26 June 2018 The jury panel of eight men and four women has been tasked with keeping straight a complex web of tribal and ethnic groups caught up in a war nearly three decades ago and thousands of miles away. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "'The only good Krahn man is a dead Krahn man': How culpable is Delco resident for ethnic atrocities in Liberia?," 22 June 2018 The Houston office of Weitzman has been tasked with finding tenants for Willowbrook Plaza, a retail and entertainment complex across from Willowbrook Mall in northwest Houston. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Willowbrook Plaza to gain new tenants," 20 June 2018 What was once known internally as the Internet Fund is now the Growth Investment Fund, and executives have been tasked with sourcing investment opportunities in consumer products, financial services, energy and health care. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs Bankers Moonlight as Venture Capitalists," 17 June 2018 Principals have been tasked with planning for the changes based on the layout of their individual campuses. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "NEISD to require clear backpacks, install buzz-in entry systems," 5 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

11 Sep 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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