Definition of take someone to task in English:

take someone to task


  • Reprimand or criticize someone severely for a fault or mistake.

    ‘he took some military experts to task for their optimistic predictions’
    • ‘The 15-year-old Oaklands School pupil took us to task for never featuring the graphic novels he loves.’
    • ‘Having retrospectively castigated him at length for mixing fact and opinion, she was taken to task by the presenter over statements in her own work regarding the European constitution.’
    • ‘Rest assured you will be taken to task at every opportunity for hate crime.’
    • ‘That is the only reason I can think of to explain why he has not been taken to task more severely by the media.’
    • ‘And some critics will then take us to task for flouting ordinary usage.’
    • ‘We have had this blip and we do not criticise the PTA for taking us to task about it.’
    • ‘Critics and academics frequently take Kurosawa to task for the lack of female perspective in his films.’
    • ‘Which means there will be plenty of scolds out there taking us to task again for crass consumerism.’
    • ‘Some of you, however, took us to task about our coverage, saying it was short of some very important information.’
    • ‘Because of her delight in flouting traditional or fashionable bottoms and tops, Morrison has been taken to task by feminist critics for not supporting the party line.’
    rebuke, reprimand, reprove, reproach, remonstrate with, upbraid, scold, berate, lecture, castigate, censure, criticize, admonish, chide, chasten, lambaste, nag, blame, arraign, call to account, haul over the coals, read someone the riot act
    tell off, give someone a dressing-down, give someone a talking-to
    tick off, carpet
    bawl out, chew out
    View synonyms