Meaning of TAKE in English




( takes, taking, took, taken)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: 'Take' is used in combination with a wide range of nouns, where the meaning of the combination is mostly given by the noun. Many of these combinations are common idiomatic expressions whose meanings can be found at the appropriate nouns. For example, the expression 'take care' is explained at 'care'.


You can use take followed by a noun to talk about an action or event, when it would also be possible to use the verb that is related to that noun. For example, you can say ‘ she took a shower ’ instead of ‘she showered’.

Betty took a photograph of us...

I’ve never taken a holiday since starting this job...

There’s not enough people willing to take the risk...

VERB : V n , V n , V n


In ordinary spoken or written English, people use take with a range of nouns instead of using a more specific verb. For example people often say ‘ he took control ’ or ‘ she took a positive attitude ’ instead of ‘he assumed control’ or ‘she adopted a positive attitude’.

The Patriotic Front took power after a three-month civil war...

I felt it was important for women to join and take a leading role...

VERB : V n , V n



( takes, taking, took, taken)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Please look at category 46 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.


If you take something, you reach out for it and hold it.

Here, let me take your coat...

Colette took her by the shoulders and shook her...

She took her in her arms and tried to comfort her.

VERB : V n , V n by n , V n prep


If you take something with you when you go somewhere, you carry it or have it with you.

Mark often took his books to Bess’s house to study...

You should take your passport with you when changing money...

Don’t forget to take your camera.

VERB : V n prep / adv , V n with n , V n


If a person, vehicle, or path takes someone somewhere, they transport or lead them there.

The school bus takes them to school and brings them back...

VERB : V n prep / adv


If something such as a job or interest takes you to a place, it is the reason for you going there.

He was a poor student from Madras whose genius took him to Cambridge...

VERB : V n prep / adv


If you take something such as your problems or your business to someone, you go to that person when you have problems you want to discuss or things you want to buy.

You need to take your problems to a trained counsellor...

VERB : V n prep / adv


If one thing takes another to a particular level, condition, or state, it causes it to reach that level or condition.

Her latest research takes her point further.

VERB : V n prep / adv


If you take something from a place, you remove it from there.

He took a handkerchief from his pocket and lightly wiped his mouth...

Opening a drawer, she took out a letter.

VERB : V n with prep / adv , V n with prep / adv


If you take something from someone who owns it, you steal it or go away with it without their permission.

He has taken my money, and I have no chance of getting it back...

VERB : V n


If an army or political party takes something or someone, they win them from their enemy or opponent.

Marines went in, taking 15 prisoners...

VERB : V n


If you take one number or amount from another, you subtract it or deduct it.

Take off the price of the house, that’s another hundred thousand.

VERB : V n with adv / prep


If you cannot take something difficult, painful, or annoying, you cannot tolerate it without becoming upset, ill, or angry.

Don’t ever ask me to look after those kids again. I just can’t take it!...

= stand, bear

VERB : no passive , usu with brd-neg , V n


If you take something such as damage or loss, you suffer it, especially in war or in a battle.

They have taken heavy casualties.

VERB : V n


If something takes a certain amount of time, that amount of time is needed in order to do it.

Since the roads are very bad, the journey took us a long time...

I had heard an appeal could take years...

The sauce takes 25 minutes to prepare and cook...

The game took her less than an hour to finish...

You must beware of those traps–you could take all day getting out of them...

It takes 15 minutes to convert the plane into a car by removing the wings and the tail...

It had taken Masters about twenty hours to reach the house...

It took thirty-five seconds for the hour to strike.

VERB : no passive , V n n , V n , V n to-inf , V n n to-inf , V n -ing , it V n to-inf , it V n n to-inf , it V n for n to-inf


If something takes a particular quality or thing, that quality or thing is needed in order to do it.

At one time, walking across the room took all her strength...

It takes courage to say what you think...

It takes a pretty bad level of performance before the teachers will criticize the students.

= need

VERB : no passive , V n , it V n to-inf , it V n before cl


If you take something that is given or offered to you, you agree to accept it.

His sons took his advice.

= accept

VERB : V n


If you take a feeling such as pleasure, pride, or delight in a particular thing or activity, the thing or activity gives you that feeling.

They take great pride in their heritage...

The government will take comfort from the latest opinion poll.

= derive

VERB : V n in n / -ing , V n from n / -ing


If a shop, restaurant, theatre, or other business takes a certain amount of money, they get that amount from people buying goods or services. ( mainly BRIT BUSINESS; in AM, usually use take in )

The firm took £100,000 in bookings.

VERB : V amount


You can use take to refer to the amount of money that a business such as a store or theatre gets from selling its goods or tickets during a particular period. ( mainly AM BUSINESS; in BRIT, usually use takings )

It added another $11.8 million to the take, for a grand total of $43 million.

N-SING : usu the N


If you take a prize or medal, you win it.

‘Poison’ took first prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival...

VERB : V n


If you take the blame, responsibility, or credit for something, you agree to accept it.

His brother Raoul did it, but Leonel took the blame and kept his mouth shut...

= accept

VERB : V n


If you take patients or clients, you accept them as your patients or clients.

Some universities would be forced to take more students than they wanted...

VERB : V n


If you take a telephone call, you speak to someone who is telephoning you.

Douglas telephoned Catherine at her office. She refused to take his calls.

VERB : V n


If you take something in a particular way, you react in the way mentioned to a situation or to someone’s beliefs or behaviour.

Unfortunately, no one took my messages seriously...

VERB : V n adv / prep


You use take when you are discussing or explaining a particular question, in order to introduce an example or to say how the question is being considered.

There’s confusion and resentment, and it’s almost never expressed out in the open. Take this office, for example...

= consider

VERB : usu imper , V n


If you take someone’s meaning or point, you understand and accept what they are saying.

They’ve turned sensible, if you take my meaning...

VERB : V n


If you take someone for something, you believe wrongly that they are that thing.

She had taken him for a journalist...

I naturally took him to be the owner of the estate.

VERB : V n for n , V n to-inf


If you take something from among a number of things, you choose to have or buy it.

‘I’ll take the grilled tuna,’ Mary Ann told the waiter.

VERB : V n


If you take a road or route, you choose to travel along it.

From Wrexham centre take the Chester Road to the outskirts of town...

The road forked in two directions. He had obviously taken the wrong fork.

VERB : V n prep / adv , V n


If you take a car, train, bus, or plane, you use it to go from one place to another.

It’s the other end of the High Street. We’ll take the car, shall we?...

She took the train to New York every weekend...

VERB : V n , V n prep / adv


If you take a subject or course at school or university, you choose to study it.

Students are allowed to take European history and American history.

VERB : V n


If you take a test or examination, you do it in order to obtain a qualification.

She took her driving test in Greenford...

VERB : V n


If you take someone for a subject, you give them lessons in that subject. ( mainly BRIT )

The teacher who took us for economics was Miss Humphrey.

= teach

VERB : V n for n


If someone takes drugs, pills, or other medicines, they take them into their body, for example by swallowing them.

She’s been taking sleeping pills...

VERB : V n


If you take a note or a letter, you write down something you want to remember or the words that someone says.

She sat expressionless, carefully taking notes...

VERB : V n


If you take a particular measurement, you use special equipment to find out what something measures.

If he feels hotter than normal, take his temperature.

VERB : V n


If a place or container takes a particular amount or number, there is enough space for that amount or number.

The place could just about take 2,000 people.

VERB : no passive , V amount


If you take a particular size in shoes or clothes, that size fits you.

47 per cent of women in the UK take a size 16 or above.

VERB : V n


A take is a short piece of action which is filmed in one continuous process for a cinema or television film.

She couldn’t get it right–she never knew the lines and we had to do several takes.



Someone’s take on a particular situation or fact is their attitude to it or their interpretation of it.

What’s your take on the new government? Do you think it can work?...

= perspective

N-SING : N on n , usu supp N


You can say ‘ I take it ’ to check with someone that what you believe to be the case or what you understand them to mean is in fact the case, or is in fact what they mean.

I take it you’re a friend of the Kellings, Mr Burr...

= I presume

PHRASE : PHR with cl , oft PHR that


You can say ‘ take it from me ’ to tell someone that you are absolutely sure that what you are saying is correct, and that they should believe you.

Take it from me–this is the greatest achievement by any Formula One driver ever.

= believe me

PHRASE : PHR with cl


If you say to someone ‘ take it or leave it ’, you are telling them that they can accept something or not accept it, but that you are not prepared to discuss any other alternatives.

A 72-hour week, 12 hours a day, six days a week, take it or leave it.



If someone takes an insult or attack lying down , they accept it without protesting.

The government is not taking such criticism lying down.

PHRASE : take inflects


If something takes a lot out of you or takes it out of you, it requires a lot of energy or effort and makes you feel very tired and weak afterwards.

He looked tired, as if the argument had taken a lot out of him...

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR n


If someone tells you to take five or to take ten , they are telling you to have a five or ten minute break from what you are doing. ( mainly AM INFORMAL )

PHRASE : V inflects


to be taken aback: see aback

to take up arms: see arm

to take the biscuit: see biscuit

to take the bull by the horns: see bull

to take your hat off to someone : see hat

to take the mickey: see mickey

to take the piss out of someone : see piss

to take something as read: see read

to be taken for a ride: see ride

to take someone by surprise: see surprise

take my word for it: see word

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.