task

noun
\ ˈtask How to pronounce task (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for task

Synonyms: Noun

assignment, chore, duty, job

Synonyms: Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the lander hadn’t been designed for the task, nor was there any software written to do so. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "How Massachusetts made the Apollo 11 moon landing possible," 13 July 2019 Like Jenner, Baldwin also used a vehicle for the task. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Sophie Turner Hilariously Puts an End to Bottle Cap Challenge by Opening and Drinking Her Wine," 12 July 2019 His work at Auschwitz, though, comes at a particularly challenging moment, both for the institution and for the task of preserving historical memory. Marc Santora, New York Times, "For Artist at Auschwitz, a Challenge: Stepping Into the Past, Not on It," 4 July 2019 Tuesday morning a team of keepers arrived at the aviary for the delicate task of filling water and food bowls and cleaning the whooping crane enclosure. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Zoo's whooping crane pair act as foster parents to chick born at the zoo," 28 June 2019 And although the stones used are not actually modified for the task, monkeys are assiduous in searching for and selecting those of the perfect shape. The Economist, "Capuchin monkeys have been using stone tools for around 3,000 years," 27 June 2019 Ground expeditions also are in the area for the task. Washington Post, "Indian soldiers recover bodies of 7 missing mountaineers," 23 June 2019 Ground expeditions also are in the area for the task. CBS News, "Bodies of 7 missing climbers removed from India's second-tallest mountain," 23 June 2019 The opera director Robert Carsen had shouldered responsibility for the impossible task of encompassing the mercurial intelligence and vast, multifaceted career of the greatest polymath ever to work in fashion. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Karl For Ever: In Paris, the Fashion Industry Pays Tribute to Karl Lagerfeld," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The schools are designated as specialized academic instruction models, and tasked with rewriting the textbook for special education. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poway launches pilot program aimed at mainstreaming special ed students," 12 July 2019 Avila, whose contract was set to expire after the 2020 season, has been tasked with tearing down and reconstructing the Tigers' roster. Chris Thomas, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers extend Al Avila. Tigers fans have no idea why," 5 July 2019 Hired in 2012, the 64 year-old was tasked with ending an agonising 12-year wait for a sixth World Cup and to do so in his home country. SI.com, "Luiz Felipe Scolari: How the Enigmatic 'Big Phil' Succeeded as Much as He Failed on the Big Stage," 3 July 2019 Accused murderers, rapists, and thieves are entitled to legal representation — even free representation — but public officials tasked with managing complex systems in the midst of a humanitarian crisis are on their own? David French, National Review, "In the New York Times, a ‘Human Rights’ Professor Calls for Mob Rule," 1 July 2019 The recent Highlands High School graduate navigated easily between screens to type out sentences, and was tasked with using her device to ask questions of her peers. Liz Teitz, ExpressNews.com, "Technology gives voice to special needs kids at OLLU," 27 June 2019 Per CAF Red Tail Squadron, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy, Friend was a combat operations officer tasked with planning and organizing his squadron’s strategic and tactical air missions. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Robert Friend, Tuskegee Airman Who Flew in 142 Combat Missions, Dies at 99," 26 June 2019 Men confused the distinction between woman and animal, not only through rape, but by keeping women illiterate, pregnant, and exhausted, tasked with the menial labor of keeping the colony fed and clean and clothed. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Miriam Toews’s Quiet Revolution," 26 June 2019 Tritons are also a U.S. Navy asset and are primarily tasked with maritime missions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Closer Look at the MQ-4 Triton, the Recon Drone Iran Just Shot Down," 20 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about task

Statistics for task

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for task

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

task

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on task

What made you want to look up task? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!