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

Launching in April with 108 SKUs, UOMA is a large undertaking. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "UOMA's Sharon Chuter Gives Black Women Advice On How To Make It In Beauty," 6 Aug. 2019 Painting a brick fireplace can seem like a big undertaking—a quick Google search reveals dozens of different processes. Madeleine Bokan, House Beautiful, "The Foolproof Way To Paint Your Brick Fireplace," 2 July 2019 Yilport has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and run facilities at Gulfport, Miss., but Long Beach is a much bigger undertaking. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Turkey’s Yildirim Sets Financing in Bid for Long Beach Shipping Terminal," 28 Mar. 2019 Crissy Marsh, which was completed in 2001, was the first restoration undertaking in the Tennessee Hollow project. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "On the edge of SF’s Presidio, restoring a watershed will benefit nature and humans," 5 Aug. 2019 And building a fragrance for a hotel property with locations all across the globe seems like a rather risky undertaking. Andrea Cheng, Condé Nast Traveler, "How a Hotel Gets Its Signature Scent," 2 Aug. 2019 The Green Line extension, a massive undertaking funded by state and federal dollars, will bring service to Somerville and Medford. Maria Lovato, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Count us as very worried’ about Green Line extension project, MBTA official says," 12 Aug. 2019 This was an enormous undertaking with, quite frankly, little chance of success. Washington Post, "Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan: ‘At some point, there’s no longer going to be a Donald Trump Party’," 30 July 2019 The show is quite the undertaking, with 48 adults and children, a 20-member orchestra conducted by Christoph Rayburn, plus a cute little dog named Caper from Furry Friends Rescue in Poway playing Dorothy’s beloved dog, Toto. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "REVIEW: Patio Playhouse presents charming ‘Wizard of Oz’ musical," 17 July 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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

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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


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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Comments on undertaking

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


to make a temporary encampment

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