undertaking

noun
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

Republicans are loath to repeat the undertaking that consumed much of 2017. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Senate GOP wary in Trump’s revived health care battle," 1 Apr. 2019 Platforms frequently, and conspicuously, fail to live up to our expectations—in fact, given the enormity of the undertaking, most platforms’ own definition of success includes failing users on a regular basis. Tarleton Gillespie, WIRED, "How Social Networks Set the Limits of What We Can Say Online," 26 June 2018 Throwing a house party is a pretty big responsibility, but trying to appease every guest’s musical taste is a whole other undertaking. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Drinking Songs to Raise a Glass To," 29 Mar. 2019 These massive infrastructure undertakings are just two among dozens of colossal infrastructure projects along Texas’ coastal bend. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 The merger agreement prohibits Andeavor from major undertakings — like moving a terminal — without Marathon's consent, Hupp said. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "A 60-year-old fuel terminal could leave Boise’s Bench. Here’s what could replace it.," 11 July 2018 Passing the torch to this younger generation is already a difficult undertaking. Josef Federman, Fox News, "Israeli questioning of US Jews at border expose deeper rift," 19 Aug. 2018 Farming, as any farmer will tell you, is a massively complex and involved undertaking. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "There's Real Money in Virtual Farming," 23 Jan. 2019 The debriefs done after each exercise, where students share in groups how the exercise made them feel, can also be a risky undertaking, experts say. Karen De Sa, BostonGlobe.com, "Teens pushed to the brink at ‘leadership’ camps," 18 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of undertaking

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

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Statistics for undertaking

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for undertaking

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

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More Definitions for undertaking

undertaking

noun

English Language Learners Definition of undertaking

: an important or difficult task or project
: the business of an undertaker
British, formal : a promise or agreement to do or not do something

undertaking

noun
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.

undertaking

noun
un·​der·​tak·​ing

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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More from Merriam-Webster on undertaking

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undertaking

Spanish Central: Translation of undertaking

Nglish: Translation of undertaking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of undertaking for Arabic Speakers

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