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take - definition and synonyms


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verb take pronunciation in American English /teɪk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participletaking
past tensetook
past participletaken
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to move something or someone from one place to another
    Don’t forget to take an extra pair of shoes.
    Remember to take a pen with you.
    take someone to/into/around something: What time do you take Amy to school?
    We took the plants into the greenhouse.
    The cat had to be taken to the vet.
    Our guide took us around the cathedral.
    take someone/something along (=with you): On long trips I always take my dog along.
    take someone/something for something: We took my mother for a drive in the country.
    take someone/something to do something: We took him to catch his train.
    take someone something: Take Debbie this cup of coffee, will you?
    take something to someone: Let’s take the presents to them tonight.
    See also bring
  2. 2
    [transitive] to cause someone to move somewhere
    take someone into/out of/up/through etc. something: My old job took me into the city a lot.
    The steps took us up to a cave in the cliff.
    The trip will take you through some beautiful scenery.
    1. a.
      to cause someone or something to be in a new position or condition
      Her amazing energy has taken her to the top of her profession.
      acts that took the country into war
      take someone to court: They’ll take us to court if we don’t pay up soon.
      take someone hostage/prisoner: Bank robbers took the manager hostage overnight.
  3. 3
    [transitive] to perform a particular action or series of actions
    Take a deep breath.
    Tom took a sip of his drink.
    I took a quick look at the audience.
    Let’s take a walk down to the river.
    take action/steps/measures: The government must take action to stop this trade.
    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] to need something
    Your odd behavior is going to take some explaining.
    take some doing (=be very difficult to do): It’s going to take some doing to persuade them!
    1. a.
      to need a particular thing in order for something to happen
      Admitting what she had done took a lot of courage.
      take something to do/be something: It takes talent and dedication to become a leading dancer.
      It doesn’t take much to start her crying.
      have what it takes (=have the qualities that are necessary): Do you have what it takes to be a teacher?
    2. b.
      to need a particular amount of time to happen or to do something
      It will take a while to straighten this out.
      Our meeting took much longer than I expected.
      take someone ten minutes/two hours etc.: The trip should take us about three days.
  5. 5
    [transitive] to accept something that someone offers you
    I’ve decided not to take the job.
    Sorry, we don’t take credit cards.
    take (someone’s) advice: She won’t take my advice.
    take it or leave it (=the offer will not change): That’s my final price, take it or leave it.
    1. a.
      to accept an unpleasant situation or unpleasant treatment without complaining
      Please stop! I can’t take it anymore.
      In this job you have to be able to take criticism.
      take something lying down (=accept something without any protest): I’m not going to take defeat lying down.
    2. b.
      to accept an explanation or something that someone says without discussing it or arguing about it
      take someone’s word for it (=believe what someone tells you): You don’t have to take my word for it, ask anyone.
      take it from someone (=believe them): That’s the truth, take it from me.
  6. 6
    [transitive] to win a prize in a competition or a vote in an election
    Gladiator took the Oscar for best movie.
    Who took the silver medal?
    The Democratic Party took 45 percent of the votes.
  7. 7
    [transitive] to reach out and get something, especially with your hand
    Take as many cookies as you want.
    Let me take your coats.
    take someone by the arm/hand etc.: Her mother took her gently by the shoulders.
    take someone in/into your arms: I’ll take her in my arms and kiss her.
    take something in your hands: I took the baby bird gently in my hands.
  8. 8
    [transitive] to study a particular subject in school or college
    I took a class in computer programming.
    Are you taking algebra this year?
    1. a.
      to do an examination in a particular subject
      I took my driving test three times before I passed.
      She’ll have to take the exam again.
  9. 9
    [transitive] to remove something
    take something away from someone/something: Take the knife away from her!
    These drugs should take the pain away.
    take something out of something: Will you take the plates out of the cupboard?
    Government officials came to take soil samples from the factory site.
    1. a.
      to steal something, or borrow it without the owners permission
      Who took my pencil?
      The burglars didn’t seem to have taken much.
    2. b.
      maths to remove one number or quantity from another number or quantity
      take something (away) from something: What do you get if you take seven from twelve?
  10. 10
    [transitive] to get a picture or a measurement using a machine
    The scientists will take more readings from the lava flow.
    They’ve taken several scans of her brain.
    take someone’s temperature: A nurse took his temperature every hour.
    take a picture/photograph/photo: May I take a picture of the two of you?
  11. 11
    [transitive] to get control of something from an opponent
    The town was finally taken after a six-week siege.
    1. a.
      to get something from an opponent in a game or sports competition
      Bird took three free throws and seven rebounds in the first half.
      Her bishop took my queen (=in the game of chess).
  12. 12
    [transitive] to get something from a book or collection of things
    take something from something: The picture on page 5 is taken from their brochure.
    They played a selection of songs taken from Broadway musicals.
  13. 13
    [transitive] to get money from selling something to people, either regularly or on a particular occasion
    The store takes about $3,000 a week.
  14. 14
    [transitive] to use a particular type of transportation
    take a bus/train/airplane/taxi etc.: I usually take the bus to work.
    1. a.
      to use a particular path or road
      Take the highway as far as Columbia.
      We took a trail through the forest.
  15. 15
    [transitive] if a piece of equipment takes something, it uses that thing in order to work
    What size batteries does your flashlight take?
    cars that take unleaded gas
    1. a.
      if a piece of equipment takes something, it is able to accept the size or weight of that thing without breaking
      The tank takes about twenty gallons of water.
      Careful – that shelf won’t take all those books.
  16. 16
    [transitive] used in particular phrases meaning to eat or drink something, especially regularly
    take milk/sugar/lemon: Do you take milk in your coffee?
    take food (=eat): They are refusing to take food.
    1. a.
      to put a drug or medicine into your body
      Take two aspirins and go to bed.
      No more than four pills should be taken in 24 hours.
  17. 18
    [transitive] to use a product regularly
    Which newspaper do you take?
  18. 19
    [transitive] to use something in a discussion
    Let’s take that last point first.
    I never throw anything away. Take this car (=use it as an example) – it’s very reliable.
    take something as something: I’ll take his behavior as an example of what I mean.
  19. 20
    [transitive] to think about someone or something in a particular way
    He tries hard, but I just can’t take him seriously.
    take something as a compliment/an insult: She took his remarks as a compliment.
    take something as an omen/a sign: They took the rainbow as a sign from their god.
    take something as proof/evidence of something: We can’t take his silence as proof of his guilt.
    1. a.
      to understand someones words or actions in a particular way
      He took her remark literally.
      take someone to mean something: I took you to mean that you’d be there early.
      something should not be taken to imply/indicate something: This statistic should not, of course, be taken to imply that female listeners lack intelligence.
      take something the wrong way (=be offended): Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m just trying to help.
  20. 21
    [transitive] to do or to have something
    take a seat (=sit down): Please take a seat.
    take power/office: The new president will take office in January.
    take cover (=hide): They’re shooting at us! Quick, take cover!
    take a risk: Can you take the risk that you might lose your money?
    take (the) credit: I did all the work, but Jill took all the credit.
    take control/command: The rebels are taking control of the city.
    take responsibility: We must encourage fathers to take full responsibility for their children.
  21. 22
    [transitive] to have or to show a feeling or opinion
    take offense: I’m afraid she took offense at my remarks.
    take (an) interest: He’s never taken much interest in his kids.
    take a view/attitude: I take the view that children should be told the truth.
    See also pity1
  22. 23
    [intransitive] if a process takes, it is successful
    The vaccination didn’t take properly.
    I don’t think your cuttings will take in this soil.
  23. 24
    [transitive] American informal to cheat someone
  24. 25
    [transitive] literary if a man takes a woman, he has sex with her
  25. 26
    [transitive] British to have responsibility for a group of students
    Who takes the history class on Mondays?



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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a stupid person

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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