\ 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


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

Synonyms for task

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for task


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite the training, Klein said IV insertion remained a difficult task. Jimmy Jenkins, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2022 Start working on three tasks, and add a new task only when another gets completed. Loubna Noureddin, Forbes, 18 May 2022 He had been given a peculiar and difficult task: to go door-to-door and take passport photos of the city's most vulnerable residents. CNN, 18 May 2022 Getting ready for the office — and spending the day there — feels like a monumental task. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 17 May 2022 That task could move the investigation closer to Mr. Trump and his inner circle. New York Times, 17 May 2022 The Fed faces a tricky task curtailing high inflation without spurring a large rise in unemployment and triggering a downturn. Harriet Torry, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Colón's 13-page decision recounts the history of criticism that mounted at the time against Tri-Corp, and testimony from people involved in the difficult task or trying to find safe, affordable housing for the mentally ill. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2022 Mora has thrown himself energetically into the task with his renovated roster returning to campus next month. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 17 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After the panel’s lineup is set, Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert C.I. McBurney, who’s been assigned to supervise the special grand jury, will swear in the jurors and task them with their legal responsibilities. Tamar Hallerman, ajc, 2 May 2022 And on the national scale, the US Congress has considered reviving the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, which could task workers with jobs like retrofitting buildings with better insulation and windows. Matt Simon, Wired, 28 Feb. 2022 The order will also ensure that American cryptocurrency laws align with those of U.S. allies, and will task the Financial Stability Oversight Council to investigate any financial concerns, according to the Associated Press. Carmela Chirinos, Fortune, 8 Mar. 2022 Before your next leadership meeting, task your team with coming up with ideas and suggestions on updating or revamping your processes. Josee Larocque Patton, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 The new legislation will task the city board of elections with creating a new municipal voter registration form, implementing staff trainings and notifying individuals of their new voting rights. Kelly Mena, CNN, 8 Dec. 2021 Outside of automation, technology leaders should task teams to learn and adopt new technologies driving innovation across the enterprise. Shay Antebi, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Your cookbook encourages those women to task their family with some of their responsibilities. Essence, 11 Oct. 2021 The Gators have won four in a row in the series and 15 of the last 16, the kind of dominance that led Tennessee to hire Central Florida coach Josh Heupel and task him with leading a resurgence on Rocky Top. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 25 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of task


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for task


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

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Task.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/task. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for task


\ 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, From The Mixed-up Files of 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.


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of task for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of task for Arabic Speakers


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