Date: 1000-1100
Language: Old Norse
Origin: taka


1 verb
take1 S1 W1 past tense took, past participle taken


[transitive]XX used with a noun instead of using a verb to describe an action. For example, if you take a walk, you walk somewhere:
Would you like to take a look?
Mike's just taking a shower.
Sara took a deep breath.
I waved, but he didn't take any notice (=pretended not to notice). British English
Please take a seat (=sit down).
take a picture/photograph/photo
Would you mind taking a photo of us together?


[transitive] to move or go with someone or something from one place to another [≠ bring]
take somebody/something to/into etc something
Barney took us to the airport.
Would you mind taking Susie home?
When he refused to give his name, he was taken into custody.
My job has taken me all over the world.
take somebody/something with you
His wife went to Australia, taking the children with her.
take somebody something
I have to take Steve the money tonight.
take somebody to do something
He took me to meet his parents.
see usage note bringsee usage note direct2


[transitive] to remove something from a place
take something off/from etc something
Take your feet off the seats.
Someone's taken a pen from my desk.
Police say money and jewellery were taken in the raid.
take away

time/money/effort etc

[intransitive and transitive] if something takes a particular amount of time, money, effort etc, that amount of time etc is needed for it to happen or succeed:
How long is this going to take?
Organizing a successful street party takes a lot of energy.
take (somebody) something (to do something)
Repairs take time to carry out.
It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the dark.
take (somebody) ages/forever informal:
It took me ages to find a present for Dad.
take some doing British English informal (=need a lot of time or effort)
Catching up four goals will take some doing.
take courage/guts
It takes courage to admit you are wrong.
have what it takes informal (=to have the qualities that are needed for success)
Neil's got what it takes to be a great footballer.


[transitive] to accept or choose something that is offered, suggested, or given to you:
Will you take the job?
Do you take American Express?
If you take my advice, you'll see a doctor.
Our helpline takes 3.5 million calls (=telephone calls) a year.
Some doctors are unwilling to take new patients without a referral.
Liz found his criticisms hard to take.
I just can't take any more (=can't deal with a bad situation any longer).
Staff have agreed to take a 2% pay cut.
take a hammering/beating (=be forced to accept defeat or a bad situation)
Small businesses took a hammering in the last recession.
I take your point/point taken (=used to say that you accept someone's opinion)
take somebody's word for it/take it from somebody (=accept that what someone says is true)
That's the truth - take it from me.
take the credit/blame/responsibility
He's the kind of man who makes things happen but lets others take the credit.
take it as read/given (= assume that something is correct or certain, because you are sure that this is the case)
It isn't official yet, but you can take it as read that you've got the contract.

hold something

[transitive] to get hold of something in your hands:
Let me take your coat.
Can you take this package while I get my wallet?
take somebody/something in/by something
I just wanted to take him in my arms.
see usage note hold1


[transitive] to use a particular form of transport or a particular road in order to go somewhere:
Let's take a cab.
I took the first plane out.
Take the M6 to Junction 19.


[transitive] to study a particular subject in school or college for an examination:
Are you taking French next year?


[transitive] to do an examination or test [= sit British English]
Applicants are asked to take a written test.


[transitive not in progressive or passive] to be the correct or suitable size, type etc for a particular person or thing:
a car that takes low sulphur fuel
What size shoe do you take?
The elevator takes a maximum of 32 people.


[transitive] to collect or gather something for a particular purpose:
Investigators will take samples of the wreckage to identify the cause.
take something from something
The police took a statement from both witnesses.


[intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] to react to someone or something or consider them in a particular way
take somebody/something seriously/badly/personally etc
I was joking, but he took me seriously.
Ben took the news very badly.
She does not take kindly to criticism (=reacts badly to criticism).
take something as something
I'll take that remark as a compliment.
take something as evidence/proof (of something)
The presence of dust clouds has been taken as evidence of recent star formation.
take somebody/something to be something
I took her to be his daughter.
take somebody/something for something
Of course I won't tell anyone! What do you take me for? (=what sort of person do you think I am?)
I take it (=I assume) you've heard that Rick's resigned.


[transitive usually + adverb] to have or experience a particular feeling
take delight/pleasure/pride etc in (doing) something
You should take pride in your work.
At first, he took no interest in the baby.
take pity on somebody
She stood feeling lost until an elderly man took pity on her.
take offence (=feel offended)
Don't take offence. Roger says things like that to everybody.
take comfort from/in (doing) something
Investors can take comfort from the fact that the World Bank is underwriting the shares.


[transitive] to get possession or control of something:
Enemy forces have taken the airport.
Both boys were taken prisoner.
take control/charge/power
The communists took power in 1948.
Youngsters need to take control of their own lives.
take the lead (=in a race, competition etc)


[transitive]MDMDD to swallow, breathe in, inject etc a drug or medicine:
The doctor will ask whether you are taking any medication.
Take two tablets before bedtime.
take drugs (=take illegal drugs)
Most teenagers start taking drugs through boredom.
She took an overdose after a row with her boyfriend.

do you take sugar/milk?

spoken British English used to ask someone whether they like to have sugar or milk in a drink such as tea or coffee


[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to make someone or something go to a higher level or position
take something to/into something
The latest raise takes his salary into six figures.
Even if you have the talent to take you to the top, there's no guarantee you'll get there.
If you want to take it further, you should consult an attorney.


[transitive] to measure the amount, level, rate etc of something:
Take the patient's pulse first.


[transitive] to make a number smaller by a particular amount [= subtract]
take something away/take something (away) from something
'Take four from nine and what do you get?' 'Five.'
Ten take away nine equals one.


[transitive] British English if a shop, business etc takes a particular amount of money, it receives that amount of money from its customers [= take in American English]
The stall took £25 on Saturday.

somebody can take it or leave it

a) to neither like nor dislike something:
To some people, smoking is addictive. Others can take it or leave it.
b) used to say that you do not care whether someone accepts your offer or not

take somebody/something (for example)

used to give an example of something you have just been talking about:
People love British cars. Take the Mini. In Japan, it still sells more than all the other British cars put together.


[transitive] British English to teach a particular group of students in a school or college
take somebody for something
Who takes you for English?


[transitive] to write down information:
Let me take your email address.
Sue offered to take notes.

take somebody out of themselves

British English to make someone forget their problems and feel more confident:
Alf said joining the club would take me out of myself.

take a lot out of you/take it out of you

to make you very tired:
Looking after a baby really takes it out of you.

take it upon/on yourself to do something

formal to decide to do something without getting someone's permission or approval first:
Reg took it upon himself to hand the press a list of names.

take something to bits/pieces

British English to separate something into its different parts:
how to take an engine to bits

be taken with/by something

to be attracted by a particular idea, plan, or person:
I'm quite taken by the idea of Christmas in Berlin.

be taken ill/sick

formal to suddenly become ill


[transitive] literary if a man takes someone, he has sex with them

take a bend/fence/corner etc

to try to get over or around something in a particular way:
He took the bend at over 60 and lost control.

have an effect

[intransitive] if a treatment, dye, drug etc takes, it begins to work successfully

be taken aback

phrasal verb
to be very surprised about something:
Emma was somewhat taken aback by his directness.

take after somebody

phrasal verb
to look or behave like an older relative:
Jenni really takes after her mother.

take somebody/something apart

phrasal verb
1 to separate something into all its different parts [≠ put together]:
Tom was always taking things apart in the garage.
2 to search a place very thoroughly:
The police took the house apart looking for clues.
3 to beat someone very easily in a game, sport, fight etc
4 to show that someone is wrong or something is not true:
Tariq takes several gay myths apart in his book.

take against somebody/something

phrasal verb
to begin to dislike someone or something, especially without a good reason:
Voters took against the relationship between the government and the unions in the 1970s.

take somebody/something ↔ away

phrasal verb
1 to remove someone or something, or make something disappear:
She whisked the tray off the table and took it away.
He was taken away to begin a prison sentence.
This should take some of the pain away.

to take away

British English if you buy food to take away, you buy cooked food from a restaurant and take it outside to eat it somewhere else [↪ takeaway]:
Fish and chips to take away, please.

take your breath away

to be very beautiful, exciting, or surprising

take away from something

phrasal verb
to spoil the good effect or success that something has:
The disagreement between the two men should not take away from their accomplishments.

take somebody/something ↔ back

phrasal verb

take something ↔ back

to admit that you were wrong to say something:
You'd better take back that remark!

take something ↔ back

to take something you have bought back to a shop because it is not suitable:
If the shirt doesn't fit, take it back.
3 to make you remember a time in the past:
Having the grandchildren around takes me back to the days when my own children were small.

take something ↔ down

phrasal verb
1 to move something that is fixed in a high position to a lower position:
She made us take down all the posters.
2 to write down information:
Can I just take some details down?
3 to pull a piece of clothing such as trousers part of the way down your legs

take somebody/something ↔ in

phrasal verb

be taken in

to be completely deceived by someone who lies to you:
Don't be taken in by products claiming to help you lose weight in a week.

take somebody ↔ in

to let someone stay in your house because they have nowhere else to stay:
Brett's always taking in stray animals.

take something ↔ in

to understand and remember new facts and information [= absorb]:
He watches the older kids, just taking it all in.
His eyes quickly took in the elegance of her dress.

take something ↔ in

American English to collect or earn a particular amount of money [= take British English]
5 to visit a place while you are in the area:
They continued a few miles further to take in Hinton House.
6 American English old-fashioned if you take in a show, play etc, you go to see it

take somebody ↔ in

British English old-fashioned if the police take someone in, they take them to a police station to ask them questions about a crime:
All five teenagers were arrested and taken in for questioning.

take something ↔ in

to make a piece of clothing fit you by making it narrower [≠ let out]

take off

phrasal verb


take something ↔ off

to remove a piece of clothing [≠ put on]:
He sat on the bed to take his boots off.
Charlie was taking off his shirt when the phone rang.


TTATTS if an aircraft takes off, it rises into the air from the ground [= lift off; ↪ takeoff]:
I felt quite excited as the plane took off from Heathrow.


to suddenly start being successful:
Mimi became jealous when Jack's career started taking off.


take something off (something)

to have a holiday from work on a particular day, or for a particular length of time
take time off (work/school)
I rang my boss and arranged to take some time off.
take a day/the afternoon etc off
Dad took the day off to come with me.

copy somebody

take somebody ↔ off

British English informal to copy the way someone speaks or behaves, in order to entertain people

take somebody/something ↔ on

phrasal verb

take somebody ↔ on

to start to employ someone [↪ hire]:
We're taking on 50 new staff this year.

take something ↔ on

to agree to do some work or be responsible for something:
Don't take on too much work - the extra cash isn't worth it.

take something ↔ on

to begin to have a particular quality or appearance:
Her face took on a fierce expression.
His life had taken on a new dimension.

take somebody ↔ on

to compete against someone or start a fight with someone, especially someone bigger or better than you:
Nigeria will take on Argentina in the first round of the World Cup on Saturday.
He was prepared to take on anyone who laid a finger on us.

take something ↔ on

if a plane or ship takes on people or things, they come onto it:
We stopped to take on fuel.

take somebody/something ↔ out

phrasal verb

take somebody ↔ out

to take someone as your guest to a restaurant, cinema, club etc
take somebody ↔ out for
We're taking my folks out for a meal next week.

take something ↔ out

to make a financial or legal arrangement with a bank, company, law court etc
take out a policy/injunction/loan etc
Before taking a loan out, calculate your monthly outgoings.

take something ↔ out

to get money from your bank account [= withdraw]:
How much would you like to take out?

take something ↔ out

to borrow books from a library:
You can take out six books at a time.

take somebody/something ↔ out

informal to kill someone or destroy something:
The building was taken out by a bomb.

take something out on somebody

phrasal verb
to treat someone badly when you are angry or upset, even though it is not their fault:
Don't take it out on me just because you've had a bad day.
take your anger/frustration etc out on somebody
Irritated with herself, she took her annoyance out on Bridget.

take over

phrasal verb
to take control of something [↪ takeover]
take something ↔ over
His only reason for investing in the company was to take it over.
Ruth moved into our apartment and promptly took over.

take to somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to start to like someone or something:
Sandra took to it straight away.
Charles was an odd character whom Kelly had never really taken to.
2 to start doing something regularly
take to doing something
Dee's taken to getting up at 6 and going jogging.

take to your bed

to get into your bed and stay there:
He was so depressed, he took to his bed for a week.

take something up

phrasal verb

take something ↔ up

to become interested in a new activity and to spend time doing it:
Roger took painting up for a while, but soon lost interest.
2 to start a new job or have a new responsibility:
Peter will take up the management of the finance department.
take up a post/a position/duties etc
The headteacher takes her duties up in August.

take something ↔ up

if you take up a suggestion, problem, complaint etc, you start to do something about it:
Now the papers have taken up the story.
take something ↔ up with
The hospital manager has promised to take the matter up with the member of staff involved.
I am still very angry and will be taking it up with the authorities.
4 to fill a particular amount of time or space
be taken up with something
The little time I had outside of school was taken up with work.
take up space/room
old books that were taking up space in the office

take something ↔ up

to accept a suggestion, offer, or idea:
take up the challenge/gauntlet
Rick took up the challenge and cycled the 250 mile route alone.
6 to move to the exact place where you should be, so that you are ready to do something:
The runners are taking up their positions on the starting line.

take something ↔ up

to make a piece of clothing shorter [≠ let down]

take something ↔ up

to continue a story or activity that you or someone else had begun, after a short break:
I'll take up the story where you left off.

take somebody up on something

phrasal verb
to accept an invitation or suggestion
take somebody up on an offer/a promise/a suggestion etc
I'll take you up on that offer of a drink, if it still stands.

take up with somebody/something

phrasal verb
old-fashioned to become friendly with someone, especially someone who may influence you badly

direct, take, guide, lead
If you direct someone somewhere, you tell them which way to go to get there, but you do not go with them He directed me to a hotel near the airport (NOT He guided me to a hotel near the airport).!! Do not say that you direct something in a particular direction. Say that you point something in a particular direction He pointed the gun at the policeman (NOT He directed the gun at the policeman).If you take, guide, or lead someone somewhere, you go with them there I'll take you to the airport. Use guide especially to talk about helping someone along a difficult route They guided me through a maze of one-way streets. Use lead to talk about going in front of someone who is following you The waiter led us to a table.See also direct

bring, take, get, fetch
bring means to carry something or come with someone to the place where you are or to the place where you are talking about Would you like me to bring anything to the party? She brought her Spanish friend into class.take means to carry something or go with someone to another place, away from where you are or where you are talking about Don't forget to take your umbrella. I'll take you home.get means to go to another place and come back with something or someone I went upstairs to get my jacket.In British English, you can also use fetch Will you fetch Susan from the airport?In American English, you only use fetch to talk about a dog getting something.See also bring

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