Meaning of TASK in English


I. ˈtask, ˈtaa(ə)sk, ˈtaisk, ˈtȧsk noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English taske, tasque, from Old North French tasque, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin tasca task, remuneration, alteration of taxa, from Latin taxare to touch, feel, rate, compute — more at tax


a. : a specific piece or amount of work usually assigned by another and often required or expected to be finished within a certain time

the tasks that were set for chemistry at last year's examination for the school-leaving certificate of the high schools — Journal of Chem. Education

a novel … I had once read as a school holiday task — Adrian Bell

b. : something that has to be done or needs to be done and usually involves some difficulty or problem

Greece … passed on to Macedon and thence to Rome that task of reconciling the individual and the class with the whole — G.L.Dickinson

: something hard or unpleasant to do

deciphering some people's handwriting is quite a task

c. : the job allotted to someone as his duty or to some inanimate thing as its proper function

forecasting is … one of the most important tasks of the statistician in business — M.K.Adler

every inch of material … from crypt to vault … had its task — Henry Adams

2. obsolete : tax , impost

3. : subjection to adverse criticism : reprimand — used in the expressions to take, call, or bring one to task

4. : the performance that is required of the subject in a psychological experiment or test and that is usually made known to a human subject by verbal instructions

5. : a definite usually operational objective assigned to a unit or group of units in the armed forces

6. : a set of actions performed to accomplish a specific purpose whose accomplishment is one of the duties though usually not the only duty of an employee holding a particular position


duty , assignment , job , stint , chore : task refers to a specific piece of work or service usually imposed by authority or circumstance, sometimes undertaken voluntarily

some person or some organization whose task it is to realize the daydreams of the masses — Aldous Huxley

the spirit in which judge or advocate is to look upon his task — B.N.Cardozo

duty is likely to indicate work, service, or conduct enjoined on a person because of his rank, status, occupation, or affiliation; it is likely in most uses to suggest obligation, often moral

it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is — John Marshall

some of the military branches having a preferred status … had higher pay scales for less dangerous duties — Kingsley Davis

assignment suggests a specific amount of work or sort of service assigned authoritatively

it is not our assignment to settle specific questions of territories — H.S.Truman

job is a general term wide in suggestion ranging from voluntary undertaking of some signal service down to an assigned bit of menial work

a job that suffers from some relative poverty in charm, such as totting up endless small sums at a desk or feeding coal in at the door of a furnace — C.E.Montague

stint stresses carefully or equitably measured or timed apportionment of work

took to doing “German Romance” as my daily work, ten pages daily my stint — Thomas Carlyle

chore is likely to suggest minor routine activity necessary for continuing satisfactory operating, as of a farm or office

leisure after the chores and happy meeting places where the farmer and his family might play — Roger Burlingame

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English tasken, from taske, tasque, n.

1. obsolete : tax

2. : to impose a task upon : assign a definite amount of business, labor, or duty to

there task thy maids, and exercise the loom — John Dryden


a. obsolete : reprimand

b. archaic : accuse , charge — often used with with

too impudent to task me with those errors — Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher


a. : to oppress with great labor : keep busy at or as if at a task : burden

tasks his mind with details

b. : to test as by the imposition of a burden

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.