undertake

verb
un·​der·​take | \ ˌən-dər-ˈtāk How to pronounce undertake (audio) \
undertook\ ˌən-​dər-​ˈtu̇k How to pronounce undertook (audio) \; undertaken\ ˌən-​dər-​ˈtā-​kən How to pronounce undertaken (audio) \; undertaking

Definition of undertake

transitive verb

1 : to take upon oneself : set about : attempt undertake a task undertake to learn to swim
2 : to put oneself under obligation to perform also : to accept as a charge or responsibility the lawyer who undertook the case
3 : guarantee, promise readily undertook that the letter should be securely conveyed— Sir Walter Scott

intransitive verb

archaic : to give surety or assume responsibility

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Synonyms & Antonyms for undertake

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of undertake in a Sentence

He's undertaking a thorough search. The researchers undertook a series of studies.
Recent Examples on the Web That reality has driven much of the work of the Social Capital Project undertaken by Congress’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a multi-year research effort spearheaded by the JEC’s chairman, Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah). Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Can Policy Make It More Affordable to Have a Family?," 12 Sep. 2019 Recently a survey undertaken by alcohol.org identified the two NFL fan bases that consume the most alcohol. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Raiders and Saints fans are the heaviest drinkers in the NFL, survey says," 11 Sep. 2019 The space agency’s chairman had earlier called Chandrayaan-2 the ‘‘most complex mission ever’’ undertaken by the space agency. Sheikh Saaliq, BostonGlobe.com, "India says it’s lost communication with its unmanned moon lander," 6 Sep. 2019 But a study undertaken by Matt Brennan at the University of Glasgow and Kyle Devine at University of Oslo demonstrates that more greenhouse gasses are released because of streaming than because of CDs. Mark Swed, chicagotribune.com, "Commentary: Classical streaming has arrived. How do the new services stack up?," 3 Sep. 2019 Deadspin In search of shared sisterhood at work This is the poignant quest undertaken by Beth A. Livingston and Tina R. Opie, both researchers and management professors. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Trump Administration to Deport Kids Seeking Medical Treatment: raceAhead," 30 Aug. 2019 Hacking the iPhone has long been considered a rarified endeavor, undertaken by sophisticated nation states against only their most high-value targets. Wired, "Mysterious iOS Attack Changes Everything We Know About iPhone Hacking," 30 Aug. 2019 That’s the result of a not particularly scientific experiment undertaken by a Turkish beekeeper who video taped local bears dipping into his honey stores. Melissa Locker, Time, "Turkish Beekeeper Secretly Video Puts Insatiable Bears to Work Taste-Testing His Honey. The Night Vision Footage Is Perfect.," 29 Aug. 2019 But a study undertaken by Matt Brennan at the University of Glasgow and Kyle Devine at University of Oslo demonstrates that more greenhouse gasses are released because of streaming than because of CDs. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Classical streaming has arrived. How do the new services stack up?," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undertake.' 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 undertake

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

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Statistics for undertake

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for undertake

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

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More Definitions for undertake

undertake

verb
How to pronounce undertake (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of undertake

formal
: to begin or attempt (something)
: to agree or promise to do (something)

undertake

verb
un·​der·​take | \ ˌən-dər-ˈtāk How to pronounce undertake (audio) \
undertook\ -​ˈtu̇k \; undertaken\ -​ˈtā-​kən \; undertaking

Kids Definition of undertake

1 : to plan or try to accomplish They undertook a trip around the world.
2 : to take on as a responsibility : agree I undertake to deliver your package.

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Comments on undertake

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not being in agreement or harmony

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