Definition of take something on in English:

take something on

phrasal verb

  • 1Undertake a task or responsibility, especially a difficult one.

    ‘whoever takes on the trout farm will have their work cut out’
    • ‘Administrative tasks will be taken on by support staff so teachers can concentrate on teaching and a pupil researcher will be appointed to monitor progress.’
    • ‘Whoever takes it on now has the fun task of rebuilding the party, just to be dumped a year out from the election.’
    • ‘York Archaeological Trust has been looking at how outlying areas could be explored and the task was taken on by York Archaeological Forum, a group of professional and amateur archaeologists who advise York Council.’
    • ‘I took the responsibility on because I was convinced that it would be easier than it has turned out to be.’
    • ‘It was a huge administrative task and Sanderson took it on with extraordinary zeal, travelling all over the country, interviewing candidates for regional posts and trying to bring opposing factions together.’
    • ‘He dismisses the help of his own mates, takes his task on alone, and in doing so attempts again to find the impossible-a place between social worlds, a quest that time and time again ends in death.’
    • ‘Repairing this damage, and returning to the centre ground, seem like an almost impossible, and thankless task, for whoever takes it on.’
    • ‘Formulating a succinct and meaningful constructive agenda out of disparate protests is a feat unto itself for leftists, and I am not going to snub this formidable task by taking it on in the space remaining.’
    • ‘Finding another studio willing to take the project on proved difficult.’
    • ‘Members of the TRA appealed to local residents for help and, despite an initial flood of interest, the daunting task was taken on and successfully completed by only eight members.’
    accept, take up, take on, undertake
    undertake, accept, take on oneself, tackle, turn one's hand to, adopt, assume, shoulder, embrace, acquire, carry, bear, support
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  • 2Acquire a particular meaning or quality.

    ‘the subject has taken on a new significance in the past year’
    • ‘Indeed their joint instincts occasionally took on an almost telepathic dimension.’
    • ‘Along the way, we will also come to an understanding of why labour took on the importance it did for Marx.’
    • ‘In the process of translation and adaptation, Verdi's opera took on qualities of its own.’
    • ‘Her version takes on added resonance and power when you remember that Tori is herself a victim of male violence.’
    • ‘It is then that Jacobsen's controversial account takes on the tone of a cheap airport thriller.’
    • ‘As the running battle was fought along the seafront, the scene took on a surreal sense.’
    • ‘It was a city where Baudelaire's vision of the artist of modern life took on a new urgency.’
    • ‘On a trip to the ground last Wednesday, the wind took on the properties of a giant cutlass.’
    • ‘From that momentous day, Muir's already awesome influence took on a fresh sheen.’
    • ‘When followers are taken into account, the hunt takes on the character of a spectator sport.’
    acquire, assume, come to have, come by
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