un·​der·​tak·​ing | \ ˈən-dər-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce undertaking (audio) , ˌən-dər-ˈtā-; sense 1b is ˈən-dər-ˌtā- only \

Definition of undertaking

1a : the act of one who undertakes or engages in a project or business
b : the business of an undertaker
2 : something undertaken : enterprise

Examples of undertaking in a Sentence

The restoration of the old theater is a huge undertaking. He advised us against such a risky undertaking.
Recent Examples on the Web The undertaking to transform businesses accustomed to operating outside conventional avenues was no small task. Sheila Dedenbach, Rolling Stone, 21 July 2022 But the undertaking was well worth it for Jackson Wiederhoeft. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 24 June 2022 Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn can add curb appeal to your home, increase its value, and make for an inviting place to entertain guests in warmer months, but keeping your grass green and full can feel like a challenging undertaking. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 That undertaking is so massive that Tesla is building its own supercomputer and customized semiconductors to process all the data. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 In New Mexico, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver also said the undertaking is not an allowable use of voter data. Megan O’matz, ProPublica, 7 Mar. 2022 This ambitious undertaking has been a marvelous adventure in the acts of drawing, looking and curating, at once beautifully ordered and random. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 Building Zoom was a huge undertaking, and Yuan had to sacrifice time with his family to do it. Joanne Chen, Forbes, 11 July 2022 New York City colorist Olivia Casanova warns that copper is a huge undertaking. Amina Ayoud, Allure, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undertaking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of undertaking

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

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

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Undertaking.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undertaking. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for undertaking


un·​der·​tak·​ing | \ ˈən-dər-ˌtā-kiŋ How to pronounce undertaking (audio) \

Kids Definition of undertaking

: an important or difficult task or project Creating a mural is a big undertaking.



Legal Definition of undertaking

1 : a promise or pledge especially required by law
2 : something (as cash or a written promise) deposited or given as security especially in a court

Note: Undertakings are often required of one party during property actions (as for attachment) in order to compensate the other party should the court's action (as in attaching the property) be found unjustified later.


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