take up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theytake up
he/she/ittakes up
present participletaking up
past tensetook up
past participletaken up
  1. 1
    to start doing something regularly as a habit, job, or interest

    I took up smoking when I was at school.

    Chris has taken up jogging.

    take up a post/position:

    The new surgeon will take up her post in May.

  2. 2
    to fill a particular amount of space or time

    These files take up a lot of disk space.

    I’ll try not to take up too much of your time.

  3. 3
    take up something to accept an offer or a challenge (=an offer to fight or compete) that someone has made to you

    One of our greatest athletes has taken up a new challenge.

  4. 4
    to reduce the length of a piece of clothing or some curtains
  5. 5
    to continue to discuss or deal with an idea, problem, or suggestion

    She fell silent, and her brother took up the story.

    Mrs Pankhurst took up the cause of women’s rights.

  6. 6
    take up arms formal to start a battle using weapons

    Would you be willing to take up arms for this cause?

See also main entry: take