take - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participletaking
past tensetook
past participletaken
  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 journeys 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 journey 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.

    take exercise:

    You need to take more exercise.

     Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] to need something

    Your odd behaviour is going to take a bit of 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 top 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’ll take a while to sort this out.

      Our meeting took much longer than I expected.

      take someone ten minutes/two hours etc:

      The journey 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 any more.

      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 film.

    Who took the silver medal?

    The Labour Party took 45 per cent of the vote.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to reach out and get something, especially with your hand

    Take as many cakes as you like.

    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 at school or college

    I took a course 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 owner’s permission

      Who’s taken 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

      Our new bowler took six wickets in his first match.

      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 shop takes about £1,000 a week.

  14. 14
    [transitive] to use a particular type of transport
    take a bus/train/plane/taxi etc:

    I usually take the bus to work.

    1. a.
      to use a particular path or road

      Take the A14 as far as Cambridge.

      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 torch take?

    cars that take unleaded petrol

    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. 17
    [transitive] used for talking about the size of clothes or shoes that someone wears

    What size shoes do you take?

  18. 18
    [transitive] to use a product regularly

    Which newspaper do you take?

  19. 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 behaviour as an example of what I mean.

  20. 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 someone’s words or actions in a particular way
      take someone to mean something:

      I took you to mean that you’d be there early.

      take something the wrong way (=be offended):

      Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m just trying to help.

  21. 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 Gill 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.

  22. 22
    [transitive] to have or to show a feeling or opinion
    take offence:

    I’m afraid she took offence 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 pity
  23. 23
    [intransitive] if a process takes, it is successful

    The dye didn’t take properly.

    I don’t think your cuttings will take in this soil.

  24. 24
    [transitive] British to have responsibility for a group of students

    Who takes the history class on Mondays?

    take someone for something:

    Mr Churchley will be taking you for English.

  25. 25
    [transitive] literary if a man takes a woman, he has sex with her
  26.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    do whatever it takes to do everything that is necessary to achieve a particular goal

    President Obama vowed to do whatever it takes to thwart international terrorism.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 14/11/2015
  27.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    take something over something to prefer something to something

    My teenage son is very much into gaming, but I'll take that over him sexting girls.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 17/08/2016