Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old North French
Origin: tasque, from Medieval Latin tasca 'tax or service to be done for a ruler', from taxare 'to tax'

task

1 noun
     
task1 S2 W1 [countable]
1 a piece of work that must be done, especially one that is difficult or unpleasant or that must be done regularly [= job]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
have the task of doing something set/give somebody a task carry out/perform/do a task take on/undertake a task somebody's first/main task a simple task a difficult/impossible/formidable task an unenviable task (=an unpleasant, boring, or difficult job) a thankless task (=a boring but necessary job) not an easy task/no easy task (=difficult)
task of
The task of the union representative is to fight on behalf of the members.
Sara had the task of preparing the agenda for meetings.
I was given the task of building a fire.
the skills required to carry out these tasks
He soon realized the scale of the task he had undertaken.
Our first task is to gather information.
Monkeys can be taught to do simple tasks.
They have the unenviable task of supervising the most dangerous prison in the country.
Volunteers had the thankless task of distributing campaign leaflets.
Trying to bring up a small daughter on your own is no easy task.
2

take someone to task

to strongly criticize somebody for something they have done
take someone to task for
He was taken to task for not reporting the problem earlier.

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