Meaning of TAKE in English

I. take 1 S1 W1 /teɪk/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense took /tʊk/, past participle taken ) /ˈteɪkən/

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ takings , ↑ undertaking , ↑ take , ↑ taker ; verb : ↑ take , ↑ overtake , ↑ undertake ]

[ Date: 1000-1100 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: taka ]

1 . MOVE [transitive] to move or go with someone or something from one place to another OPP bring

take somebody/something to/into etc something

Barney took us to the airport.

Would you mind taking Susie home?

When he refused to give his name, he was taken into custody.

My job has taken me all over the world.

take somebody/something with you

His wife went to Australia, taking the children with her.

take somebody something

I have to take Steve the money tonight.

take somebody to do something

He took me to meet his parents.

2 . ACTION [transitive] used with a noun instead of using a verb to describe an action. For example, if you take a walk, you walk somewhere:

Would you like to take a look?

Mike’s just taking a shower.

Sara took a deep breath.

I waved, but he didn’t take any notice (=pretended not to notice) . British English

Please take a seat (=sit down) .

take a picture/photograph/photo

Would you mind taking a photo of us together?

3 . REMOVE [transitive] to remove something from a place

take something off/from etc something

Take your feet off the seats.

Someone’s taken a pen from my desk.

Police say money and jewellery were taken in the raid.


4 . TIME/MONEY/EFFORT ETC [intransitive and transitive] if something takes a particular amount of time, money, effort etc, that amount of time etc is needed for it to happen or succeed:

How long is this going to take?

Organizing a successful street party takes a lot of energy.

take (somebody) something (to do something)

Repairs take time to carry out.

It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the dark.

take (somebody) ages/forever informal :

It took me ages to find a present for Dad.

take some doing British English informal (=need a lot of time or effort)

Catching up four goals will take some doing.

take courage/guts

It takes courage to admit you are wrong.

have what it takes informal (=to have the qualities that are needed for success)

Neil’s got what it takes to be a great footballer.

5 . ACCEPT [transitive] to accept or choose something that is offered, suggested, or given to you:

Will you take the job?

Do you take American Express?

If you take my advice, you’ll see a doctor.

Our helpline takes 3.5 million calls (=telephone calls) a year.

Some doctors are unwilling to take new patients without a referral.

Liz found his criticisms hard to take.

I just can’t take any more (=can’t deal with a bad situation any longer) .

Staff have agreed to take a 2% pay cut.

take a hammering/beating (=be forced to accept defeat or a bad situation)

Small businesses took a hammering in the last recession.

I take your point/point taken (=used to say that you accept someone’s opinion)

take sb’s word for it/take it from somebody (=accept that what someone says is true)

That’s the truth – take it from me.

take the credit/blame/responsibility

He’s the kind of man who makes things happen but lets others take the credit.

take it as read/given (=↑ assume that something is correct or certain, because you are sure that this is the case)

It isn’t official yet, but you can take it as read that you’ve got the contract.

6 . HOLD SOMETHING [transitive] to get hold of something in your hands:

Let me take your coat.

Can you take this package while I get my wallet?

take somebody/something in/by something

I just wanted to take him in my arms.

7 . TRAVEL [transitive] to use a particular form of transport or a particular road in order to go somewhere:

Let’s take a cab.

I took the first plane out.

Take the M6 to Junction 19.

8 . STUDY [transitive] to study a particular subject in school or college for an examination:

Are you taking French next year?

9 . TEST [transitive] to do an examination or test SYN sit British English :

Applicants are asked to take a written test.

10 . SUITABLE [transitive not in progressive or passive] to be the correct or suitable size, type etc for a particular person or thing:

a car that takes low sulphur fuel

What size shoe do you take?

The elevator takes a maximum of 32 people.

11 . COLLECT [transitive] to collect or gather something for a particular purpose:

Investigators will take samples of the wreckage to identify the cause.

take something from something

The police took a statement from both witnesses.

12 . CONSIDER [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to react to someone or something or consider them in a particular way

take somebody/something seriously/badly/personally etc

I was joking, but he took me seriously.

Ben took the news very badly.

She does not take kindly to criticism (=reacts badly to criticism) .

take something as something

I’ll take that remark as a compliment.

take something as evidence/proof (of something)

The presence of dust clouds has been taken as evidence of recent star formation.

take somebody/something to be something

I took her to be his daughter.

take somebody/something for something

Of course I won’t tell anyone! What do you take me for? (=what sort of person do you think I am?)

I take it (=I ↑ assume ) you’ve heard that Rick’s resigned.

13 . FEELINGS [transitive usually + adverb] to have or experience a particular feeling

take delight/pleasure/pride etc in (doing) something

You should take pride in your work.

At first, he took no interest in the baby.

take pity on somebody

She stood feeling lost until an elderly man took pity on her.

take offence (=feel offended)

Don’t take offence. Roger says things like that to everybody.

take comfort from/in (doing) something

Investors can take comfort from the fact that the World Bank is underwriting the shares.

14 . CONTROL [transitive] to get possession or control of something:

Enemy forces have taken the airport.

Both boys were taken prisoner.

take control/charge/power

The communists took power in 1948.

Youngsters need to take control of their own lives.

take the lead (=in a race, competition etc)

15 . MEDICINE/DRUGS [transitive] to swallow, breathe in, ↑ inject etc a drug or medicine:

The doctor will ask whether you are taking any medication.

Take two tablets before bedtime.

take drugs (=take illegal drugs)

Most teenagers start taking drugs through boredom.

She took an overdose after a row with her boyfriend.

16 . do you take sugar/milk? spoken British English used to ask someone whether they like to have sugar or milk in a drink such as tea or coffee

17 . LEVEL [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to make someone or something go to a higher level or position

take something to/into something

The latest raise takes his salary into six figures.

Even if you have the talent to take you to the top, there’s no guarantee you’ll get there.

If you want to take it further, you should consult an attorney.

18 . MEASURE [transitive] to measure the amount, level, rate etc of something:

Take the patient’s pulse first.

19 . NUMBERS [transitive] to make a number smaller by a particular amount SYN subtract

take something away/take something (away) from something

‘Take four from nine and what do you get?’ ‘Five.’

Ten take away nine equals one.

20 . MONEY [transitive] British English if a shop, business etc takes a particular amount of money, it receives that amount of money from its customers SYN take in American English :

The stall took £25 on Saturday.

21 . somebody can take it or leave it

a) to neither like nor dislike something:

To some people, smoking is addictive. Others can take it or leave it.

b) used to say that you do not care whether someone accepts your offer or not

22 . take somebody/something (for example) used to give an example of something you have just been talking about:

People love British cars. Take the Mini. In Japan, it still sells more than all the other British cars put together.

23 . TEACH [transitive] British English to teach a particular group of students in a school or college

take somebody for something

Who takes you for English?

24 . WRITE [transitive] to write down information:

Let me take your email address.

Sue offered to take notes.

25 . take somebody out of themselves British English to make someone forget their problems and feel more confident:

Alf said joining the club would take me out of myself.

26 . take a lot out of you/take it out of you to make you very tired:

Looking after a baby really takes it out of you.

27 . take it upon/on yourself to do something formal to decide to do something without getting someone’s permission or approval first:

Reg took it upon himself to hand the press a list of names.

28 . take something to bits/pieces British English to separate something into its different parts:

how to take an engine to bits

29 . be taken with/by something to be attracted by a particular idea, plan, or person:

I’m quite taken by the idea of Christmas in Berlin.

30 . be taken ill/sick formal to suddenly become ill

31 . SEX [transitive] literary if a man takes someone, he has sex with them

32 . take a bend/fence/corner etc to try to get over or around something in a particular way:

He took the bend at over 60 and lost control.

33 . HAVE AN EFFECT [intransitive] if a treatment, ↑ dye , drug etc takes, it begins to work successfully

• • •


▪ take to move or go with someone or something from one place to another:

Don’t forget to take your keys.


Shall I take you home?


I took Alice a cup of tea.

▪ bring to take someone or something to the place where you are now:

We’ve brought someone to see you!


Will you bring your photos with you when you come?

▪ transport to take large quantities of goods from one place to another in a plane, train, ship etc:

The plane is used for transporting military equipment.


The coal was transported by rail.

▪ deliver to take goods, letters, newspapers etc to someone’s home or office:

Unfortunately, the package was delivered to the wrong address.

▪ fly to take someone or something somewhere by plane:

The bread is specially flown in from Paris.

▪ ship to take goods from one place to another – this can be by ship, truck, plane, or train:

Half the whisky is shipped to Japan and the US.

▪ carry to take people or goods somewhere – used especially when saying how many people or things, or what kind:

The new plane can carry up to 600 passengers.


The ship was carrying a full cargo of oil.

▪ lead to take someone to a place by going in front of them:

He led Julia through the house to his study.


Roland led the way back to the car in silence.

▪ guide to take someone to a place and show them the way:

Emily guided him through a side gate into a large garden.

▪ escort to take someone to a place and protect or guard them:

The prisoner was escorted into the room by two police officers.


The singer was escorted by her assistant and her bodyguard.

▪ usher to politely lead someone somewhere and show them where to go, especially because it is your job to do this:

We were ushered into the lift by a man in uniform.

be taken aback phrasal verb

to be very surprised about something:

Emma was somewhat taken aback by his directness.

take after somebody phrasal verb [not in progressive]

to look or behave like an older relative:

Jenni really takes after her mother.

take somebody/something apart phrasal verb

1 . to separate something into all its different parts OPP put together :

Tom was always taking things apart in the garage.

2 . to search a place very thoroughly:

The police took the house apart looking for clues.

3 . to beat someone very easily in a game, sport, fight etc

4 . to show that someone is wrong or something is not true:

Tariq takes several gay myths apart in his book.

take against somebody/something phrasal verb British English

to begin to dislike someone or something, especially without a good reason:

Voters took against the relationship between the government and the unions in the 1970s.

take somebody/something ↔ away phrasal verb

1 . to remove someone or something, or make something disappear:

She whisked the tray off the table and took it away.

He was taken away to begin a prison sentence.

This should take some of the pain away.

2 . to take away British English if you buy food to take away, you buy cooked food from a restaurant and take it outside to eat it somewhere else ⇨ takeaway :

Fish and chips to take away, please.

3 . take your breath away to be very beautiful, exciting, or surprising

take away from something phrasal verb

to spoil the good effect or success that something has:

The disagreement between the two men should not take away from their accomplishments.

take somebody/something ↔ back phrasal verb

1 . take something ↔ back to admit that you were wrong to say something:

You’d better take back that remark!

2 . take something ↔ back to take something you have bought back to a shop because it is not suitable:

If the shirt doesn’t fit, take it back.

3 . to make you remember a time in the past:

Having the grandchildren around takes me back to the days when my own children were small.

take something ↔ down phrasal verb

1 . to move something that is fixed in a high position to a lower position:

She made us take down all the posters.

2 . to write down information:

Can I just take some details down?

3 . to pull a piece of clothing such as trousers part of the way down your legs

take somebody/something ↔ in phrasal verb

1 . be taken in to be completely deceived by someone who lies to you:

Don’t be taken in by products claiming to help you lose weight in a week.

2 . take somebody ↔ in to let someone stay in your house because they have nowhere else to stay:

Brett’s always taking in stray animals.

3 . take something ↔ in to understand and remember new facts and information SYN absorb :

He watches the older kids, just taking it all in.

His eyes quickly took in the elegance of her dress.

4 . take something ↔ in American English to collect or earn a particular amount of money SYN take British English

5 . to visit a place while you are in the area:

They continued a few miles further to take in Hinton House.

6 . American English old-fashioned if you take in a show, play etc, you go to see it

7 . take somebody ↔ in British English old-fashioned if the police take someone in, they take them to a police station to ask them questions about a crime:

All five teenagers were arrested and taken in for questioning.

8 . take something ↔ in to make a piece of clothing fit you by making it narrower OPP let out

take off phrasal verb

1 . REMOVE take something ↔ off to remove a piece of clothing OPP put on :

He sat on the bed to take his boots off.

Charlie was taking off his shirt when the phone rang.

2 . AIRCRAFT if an aircraft takes off, it rises into the air from the ground SYN lift off ⇨ takeoff :

I felt quite excited as the plane took off from Heathrow.

3 . SUCCESS to suddenly start being successful:

Mimi became jealous when Jack’s career started taking off.

4 . HOLIDAY take something off (something) to have a holiday from work on a particular day, or for a particular length of time

take time off (work/school)

I rang my boss and arranged to take some time off.

take a day/the afternoon etc off

Dad took the day off to come with me.

5 . COPY SOMEBODY take somebody ↔ off British English informal to copy the way someone speaks or behaves, in order to entertain people

take somebody/something ↔ on phrasal verb

1 . take somebody ↔ on to start to employ someone ⇨ hire :

We’re taking on 50 new staff this year.

2 . take something ↔ on to agree to do some work or be responsible for something:

Don’t take on too much work – the extra cash isn’t worth it.

3 . take something ↔ on to begin to have a particular quality or appearance:

Her face took on a fierce expression.

His life had taken on a new dimension.

4 . take somebody ↔ on to compete against someone or start a fight with someone, especially someone bigger or better than you:

Nigeria will take on Argentina in the first round of the World Cup on Saturday.

He was prepared to take on anyone who laid a finger on us.

5 . take something ↔ on if a plane or ship takes on people or things, they come onto it:

We stopped to take on fuel.

take somebody/something ↔ out phrasal verb

1 . take somebody ↔ out to take someone as your guest to a restaurant, cinema, club etc

take somebody ↔ out for

We’re taking my folks out for a meal next week.

2 . take something ↔ out to make a financial or legal arrangement with a bank, company, law court etc

take out a policy/injunction/loan etc

Before taking a loan out, calculate your monthly outgoings.

3 . take something ↔ out to get money from your bank account SYN withdraw :

How much would you like to take out?

4 . take something ↔ out to borrow books from a library:

You can take out six books at a time.

5 . take somebody/something ↔ out informal to kill someone or destroy something:

The building was taken out by a bomb.

take something out on somebody phrasal verb

to treat someone badly when you are angry or upset, even though it is not their fault:

Don’t take it out on me just because you’ve had a bad day.

take your anger/frustration etc out on somebody

Irritated with herself, she took her annoyance out on Bridget.

take over phrasal verb

to take control of something ⇨ takeover

take something ↔ over

His only reason for investing in the company was to take it over.

Ruth moved into our apartment and promptly took over.

take to somebody/something phrasal verb [not in passive]

1 . to start to like someone or something:

Sandra took to it straight away.

Charles was an odd character whom Kelly had never really taken to.

2 . to start doing something regularly

take to doing something

Dee’s taken to getting up at 6 and going jogging.

3 . take to your bed to get into your bed and stay there:

He was so depressed, he took to his bed for a week.

take something up phrasal verb

1 . take something ↔ up to become interested in a new activity and to spend time doing it:

Roger took painting up for a while, but soon lost interest.

2 . to start a new job or have a new responsibility:

Peter will take up the management of the finance department.

take up a post/a position/duties etc

The headteacher takes her duties up in August.

3 . take something ↔ up if you take up a suggestion, problem, complaint etc, you start to do something about it:

Now the papers have taken up the story.

take something ↔ up with

The hospital manager has promised to take the matter up with the member of staff involved.

I am still very angry and will be taking it up with the authorities.

4 . to fill a particular amount of time or space

be taken up with something

The little time I had outside of school was taken up with work.

take up space/room

old books that were taking up space in the office

5 . take something ↔ up to accept a suggestion, offer, or idea:

Rob took up the invitation to visit.

take up the challenge/gauntlet

Rick took up the challenge and cycled the 250 mile route alone.

6 . to move to the exact place where you should be, so that you are ready to do something:

The runners are taking up their positions on the starting line.

7 . take something ↔ up to make a piece of clothing shorter OPP let down

8 . take something ↔ up to continue a story or activity that you or someone else had begun, after a short break:

I’ll take up the story where you left off.

take somebody up on something phrasal verb

to accept an invitation or suggestion

take somebody up on an offer/a promise/a suggestion etc

I’ll take you up on that offer of a drink, if it still stands.

take up with somebody/something phrasal verb

old-fashioned to become friendly with someone, especially someone who may influence you badly

II. take 2 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ takings , ↑ undertaking , ↑ take , ↑ taker ; verb : ↑ take , ↑ overtake , ↑ undertake ]

1 . [countable] an occasion when a film scene, song, action etc is recorded:

We had to do six takes for this particular scene.

2 . sb’s take (on something) someone’s opinion about a situation or idea:

What’s your take on this issue?

3 . be on the take informal to be willing to do something wrong in return for money:

Is it true that some of the generals are on the take?

4 . [usually singular] American English informal the amount of money earned by a shop or business in a particular period of time

• • •


■ what you say when giving examples

▪ for example used when giving an example:

Prices have risen sharply. The price of gasoline, for example, has risen by over 50%.


Nepal has many attractions for visitors. For example, you can go trekking in the Himalayas, or see tigers in Chitwan National Park.

▪ for instance used when giving an example. For instance is slightly less formal than for example and is used more in spoken English:

There were many unanswered questions. For instance, where was the money going to come from?


Some people are really good languages. Take Katie, for instance.

▪ eg/e.g. written used when giving an example or a list of examples. Don’t use eg in formal writing – use the full phrase for example :

Make sure you eat foods that contain protein, e.g. meat, fish, eggs, milk, or cheese.

▪ such as especially written used when giving one or two typical examples when there are many others:

It is difficult to get even basic foods such as bread and sugar.

▪ take spoken used when giving a particular example as a way of proving that what you are saying is correct:

Take John – he has a good job but he didn’t go to university.


It is possible to recover from some types of cancer. Take skin cancer, for example.

▪ be a case in point used when emphasizing that someone or something is a good or typical example of what you have just mentioned:

Some birds have returned to Britain after once being extinct here. The return of the osprey is a case in point.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.