Definition of task in English:



  • A piece of work to be done or undertaken.

    ‘a new manager was given the task of developing the club's talent’
    • ‘You are not afraid of taking on difficult tasks or ventures that call for skillful manoeuvres.’
    • ‘My brother has been undertaking the same task, for the last few days, in York.’
    • ‘Crossing the busy circle is a difficult task for pedestrians in the absence of a subway.’
    • ‘One of the most difficult tasks of childhood is learning how to resist social pressure.’
    • ‘Approach difficult people and arduous tasks with a light and positive attitude.’
    • ‘Already there are signs that implementing the new justice will be a difficult task.’
    • ‘It was a difficult task, he said, but so far they had managed to stay on top of it.’
    • ‘Children must be at least 13 before they can legally work and even then can only undertake light tasks.’
    • ‘There are plenty of difficult tasks out there that would be perfect for this phrase.’
    • ‘If the public does not trust the political system then our task is made doubly difficult.’
    • ‘They say that retaining a county championship is a difficult task to say the least.’
    • ‘The only alternative is the difficult and painful tasks of reform and modernisation.’
    • ‘These are very difficult tasks, but they're too important to leave just to women.’
    • ‘It is also proof that the simplest and most fundamental of tasks are the most difficult to carry off.’
    • ‘The staff could be used weekly or monthly to undertake routine and repetitive tasks.’
    • ‘That the task remains difficult does not mean the effort is not worthwhile.’
    • ‘This leaves us with some very difficult tasks, if we are to answer some of the questions I posed earlier.’
    • ‘Here he achieved that most difficult of tasks, humour and fun in dance.’
    • ‘Controlling the diet of a child is a difficult task and depends on age and personality.’
    • ‘Youngsters find learning to blow their nose one of the most difficult of childhood tasks.’
    job, duty, chore, charge, labour, piece of work, piece of business, assignment, function, commission, mission, engagement, occupation, undertaking, exercise, business, responsibility, errand, detail, endeavour, enterprise, venture, quest, problem, burden
    View synonyms


  • 1 Assign a task to.

    ‘NATO troops are tasked with separating the warring parties’
    • ‘Occasionally, I was tasked with cleaning the room and re-inventorying the canned goods.’
    • ‘The audit agency is tasked with examining the implementation of the state budget and the financial reports of state institutions.’
    • ‘Hammond was tasked with moving in to make necessary changes.’
    • ‘A planned conference committee hearing has been tasked with resolving these conflicting numbers.’
    • ‘She was tasked with translating documents and recordings from FBI wire taps.’
    • ‘Now the group, which is tasked with monitoring stop and search use in Lewisham, is planning an educational video so young people are fully aware of their rights.’
    • ‘Each student group was tasked with carrying out a market research project and produced a marketing plan for their assigned client company.’
    • ‘They were armed with air-to-air missiles only, and were tasked with destroying airborne threats.’
    • ‘They have been tasked with adjudicating on individual claims.’
    • ‘Several staff members were tasked with lightly re-editing stories and headlines each day for the new format.’
    • ‘Children will be tasked with picturing their group activities or special events over the next two months in time for the June 30 deadline.’
    • ‘The 40-year-old was principally tasked with organising the Prince's social diary and entertaining.’
    • ‘The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women was tasked with providing advice to States on the implementation of the Platform for Action.’
    • ‘While Porter heads for the mainland to get the boat repaired, Sandy is tasked with a load of chores.’
    • ‘We're tasked with ensuring areas are swept free of any possible explosive devices left by a would-be assassin.’
    • ‘Every local authority in London has been tasked with increasing recycling and Lewisham was targeted to reach 10 per cent.’
    • ‘And still other from the Texas National Guard are tasked with purifying drinking water.’
    • ‘The committee was tasked with deliberating the content of the bill, while the special team has dealt mainly with the bill's wording.’
    • ‘The talented team of lighting, stage and sound technicians are tasked with bringing to life the first ever performances in the Orangery.’
    • ‘There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work.’
    1. 1.1Make great demands on (someone's resources or abilities)
      ‘it tasked his diplomatic skill to effect his departure in safety’
      • ‘When tasking your resources, make sure the plan is feasible.’


  • 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


Middle English: from an Old Northern French variant of Old French tasche, from medieval Latin tasca, alteration of taxa, from Latin taxare censure, charge (see tax). An early sense of the verb was ‘impose a tax on’.