views updated May 18 2018

take / tāk/ • v. (past took / toŏk/ ; past part. tak·en / ˈtākən/ ) [tr.] 1. lay hold of (something) with one's hands; reach for and hold: he leaned forward to take her hand. ∎  [tr.] remove (someone or something) from a particular place: he took an envelope from his inside pocket | the police took him away. ∎  consume as food, drink, medicine, or drugs: take an aspirin and lie down. ∎  capture or gain possession of by force or military means: twenty of their ships were sunk or taken the French took Ghent. ∎  (in bridge, hearts, and similar card games) win (a trick). ∎  Chess capture (an opposing piece or pawn). ∎  dispossess someone of (something); steal or illicitly remove: someone must have sneaked in here and taken it. ∎  cheat (someone) of something: can I get taken by buying mutual funds? ∎  subtract: take two from ten add the numbers together and take away five. ∎  occupy (a place or position): we found that all the seats were taken. ∎  buy or rent (a house). ∎  agree to buy (an item): I'll take the one on the end. ∎  gain or acquire (possession or ownership of something): he took possession of a unique Picasso ceramic piece. ∎  (be taken) humorous (of a person) already be married or in an emotional relationship. ∎  [in imper.] use or have ready to use: take half the marzipan and roll out. ∎  [usu. in imper.] use as an instance or example in support of an argument: let's take Napoleon, for instance. ∎  regularly buy or subscribe to (a particular newspaper or periodical). ∎  ascertain by measurement or observation: the nurse takes my blood pressure. ∎  write down: he was taking notes. ∎  make (a photograph) with a camera. ∎  (usu. be taken) (esp. of illness) suddenly strike or afflict (someone): he was taken with a seizure of some kind. ∎  have sexual intercourse with.2. [tr.] carry or bring with one; convey: he took along a portfolio of his drawings | the drive takes you through some wonderful scenery | I took him a letter. ∎  accompany or guide (someone) to a specified place: I'll take you to your room he called to take her out for a meal. ∎  bring into a specified state: the invasion took Europe to the brink of war. ∎  use as a route or a means of transportation: take 95 north to Baltimore we took the night train to Scotland.3. accept or receive (someone or something): she was advised to take any job offered | they don't take children. ∎  understand or accept as valid: I take your point. ∎  acquire or assume (a position, state, or form): teaching methods will take various forms he took office in September. ∎  achieve or attain (a victory or result): John Martin took the men's title. ∎  act on (an opportunity): he took his chance to get out while the house was quiet. ∎  experience or be affected by: the lad took a savage beating. ∎  tolerate, stand: I can't take the humidity. ∎  [tr.] react to or regard (news or an event) in a specified way: she took the news well | everything you say, he takes it the wrong way. ∎  [tr.] deal with (a physical obstacle or course) in a specified way: he takes the corners with no concern for his own safety. ∎  Baseball (of a batter) allow (a pitch) to go by without attempting to hit the ball. ∎  regard or view in a specified way: he somehow took it as a personal insult | [tr.] I fell over what I took to be a heavy branch. ∎  (be taken by/with) be attracted or charmed by: Billie was very taken with him. ∎  submit to, tolerate, or endure: they refused to take it any more | some people found her hard to take. ∎  (take it) assume: I take it that someone is coming to meet you.4. make, undertake, or perform (an action or task): Lucy took a deep breath he took the oath of office. ∎  be taught or examined in (a subject): some degrees require a student to take a secondary subject. ∎ Brit. obtain (an academic degree) after fulfilling the required conditions: she took a degree in English.5. require or use up (a specified amount of time): the jury took an hour and a half to find McPherson guilty | it takes me about a quarter of an hour to walk to work. ∎  (of a task or situation) need or call for (a particular person or thing): it will take an electronics expert to dismantle it. ∎  hold; accommodate: an exclusive island hideaway that takes just twenty guests. ∎  wear or require (a particular size of garment or type of complementary article): he takes size 5 boots.6. [intr.] (of a plant or seed) take root or begin to grow; germinate: the fuchsia cuttings had taken and were looking good. ∎  (of an added substance) become successfully established.7. Gram. have or require as part of the appropriate construction: verbs that take both the infinitive and the finite clause as their object.• n. 1. a scene or sequence of sound or vision photographed or recorded continuously at one time: he completed a particularly difficult scene in two takes. ∎  a particular version of or approach to something: his own whimsical take on life.2. an amount of something gained or acquired from one source or in one session: the take from commodity taxation. ∎  the money received at a theater, arena, etc., for seats.3. Printing an amount of copy set up at one time or by one compositor.PHRASES: be on the take inf. take bribes.be taken ill become ill suddenly.have what it takes inf. have the necessary qualities for success.take a chair sit down.take advantage of, take advice, etc. see advantage, advice, etc.take the cake inf. (of a person or incident) be the most remarkable or foolish of their kind.take five (or ten) take a five (or ten) minute break before resuming work or another activity.take a lot of (or some) —— be difficult to do or effect in the specified way: he might take some convincing.take someone in hand undertake to control or reform someone.take something in hand start doing or dealing with a task.take the heat inf. accept blame or withstand disapproval: "Don't worry about it," Mulder said, "we'll take the heat. You can tell him we pulled rank."take something ill archaic resent something done or said: I did not mean for you to take my comments ill.take it from me I can assure you: take it from me, kid—I've been there.take it on one (or oneself) to do something decide to do something without asking for permission or advice.take it or leave it [usu. in imper.] said to express that the offer one has made is not negotiable and that one is indifferent to another's reaction to it: that's the deal—take it or leave it.take it out of exhaust the strength of (someone): parties and tours can take it out of you, especially if you are over 65. take sick (or ill) inf. become ill, esp. suddenly.take the stand testify at a trial.take someone out of themselves make a person forget their worries.take that! exclaimed when hitting someone or taking decisive action against them.take one's time not hurry.PHRASAL VERBS: take after resemble (a parent or ancestor): the rest of us take after our mother.take something apart dismantle something. ∎  (take someone/something apart) inf. attack, criticize, or defeat someone or something in a vigorous or forceful way.take something away Brit. another way of saying take something out (sense 2).take away from detract from: that shouldn't take away from the achievement of the French.take someone back strongly remind someone of a past time: if “Disco Inferno” doesn't take you back, the bell-bottom pants will.take something back1. retract a statement: I take back nothing of what I said.2. return unsatisfactory goods to a store. ∎  (of a store) accept such goods.3. Printing transfer text to the previous line.take something down1. write down spoken words: I took down the address.2. dismantle and remove a structure: the old Norman church was taken down in 1819.take fromanother way of saying take away from.take someone in1. accommodate someone as a lodger or because they are homeless or in difficulties.2. cheat, fool, or deceive someone: she tried to pass this off as an amusing story, but nobody was taken in.take something in1. undertake work at home: she took in laundry on weekends.2. make a garment tighter by altering its seams. ∎  Sailing furl a sail.3. receive a specified amount of money as payment or earnings: our club took in nearly $800,000 in its first year.4. include or encompass something: the sweep of his arm took in most of Main Street. ∎  fully understand or absorb something heard or seen: she took in the scene at a glance.5. visit or attend a place or event in a casual way or on the way to another: he'd maybe take in a movie, or just relax.take off1. (of an aircraft or bird) become airborne. ∎  (of an enterprise) become successful or popular: the newly launched electronic newspaper has really taken off.2. depart hastily: the officer took off after his men.take something off1. remove clothing from one's or another's body: she took off her cardigan.2. deduct part of an amount.3. choose to have a period away from work: I took the next day off.take someone on1. hire an employee.2. be willing or ready to meet an adversary or opponent, esp. a stronger one: a group of villagers has taken on the planners.take something on1. undertake a task or responsibility, esp. a difficult one: whoever takes on the trout farm will have their work cut out.2. acquire a particular meaning or quality: the subject has taken on a new significance in the past year.take someone out 1. to escort, as on a date: I finally get to take her out on Saturday night.2. Bridge respond to a bid or double by one's partner by bidding a different suit.take someone/something out inf. kill, destroy, or disable someone or something.take something out1. obtain an official document or service: you can take out a loan for a specific purchase. ∎  get a license or summons issued.2. buy food at a cafe or restaurant for eating elsewhere: he ordered a lamb madras to take out.take something out on relieve frustration or anger by attacking or mistreating (a person or thing not responsible for such feelings).take something over1. (also take over) assume control of something: British troops had taken over the German trenches. ∎  (of a company) buy out another. ∎  become responsible for a task in succession to another: he will take over as chief executive in April.2. Printing transfer text to the next line.take to1. begin or fall into the habit of: he took to hiding some secret supplies in his desk.2. form a liking for: Mrs. Brady never took to Moran. ∎  develop an ability for (something), esp. quickly or easily: I took to pole-vaulting right away.3. go to (a place) to escape danger or an enemy: they took to the hills.take something up1. become interested or engaged in a pursuit: she took up tennis at the age of 11. ∎  begin to hold or fulfill a position or post: he left to take up an appointment as a missionary. ∎  accept an offer or challenge.2. occupy time, space, or attention: I don't want to take up any more of your time.3. pursue a matter later or further: he'll have to take it up with the bishop. ∎  (also take up) resume speaking after an interruption: I took up where I had left off.4. shorten a garment by turning up the hem.take someone up on1. accept (an offer or challenge) from someone: I'd like to take you up on that offer.2. challenge or question a speaker on (a particular point): the interviewer did not take him up on his quotation.take up with begin to associate with (someone), esp. in a way disapproved of by the speaker: he's taken up with a divorced woman, I understand.DERIVATIVES: tak·a·ble / ˈtākəbəl/ (also take·a·ble) adj.


views updated May 14 2018

take it takes one to know one modern proverbial saying, late 20th century, usually with pejorative implication.
take the goods the gods provide proverbial saying, late 17th century, meaning that one should accept and be grateful for unearned benefits; perhaps originally as a quotation from Dryden's Alexander's Feast (1697), ‘Lovely Thais sits beside thee, Take the goods the gods provide thee.’

An earlier classical Latin form is found in the work of the Roman comic dramatist Plautus (c.250–184 bc), ‘you may keep what good the gods give’.

See also take the bull by the horns, take the fifth, take time by the forelock, give and take is fair play, you can take a horse to water, you pays your money and you takes your choice, take care of the pence, it takes two to tango.


views updated May 23 2018

take pt. took, pp. taken seize (also in earliest use, touch), capture. XII. Late OE. str. vb. tacan — ON. taka = MDu. tāken, rel. by gradation to Goth. tekan touch; of uncert. orig. OE. oftacan may point to the native currency of tacan.