Definition of undertaking in English:



  • 1A formal pledge or promise to do something.

    ‘I give an undertaking that we shall proceed with the legislation’
    • ‘Mr. Power gave an undertaking that potholes on the road would be filled and that adequate lighting would be provided on barrels while the work was ongoing.’
    • ‘I had to sign an undertaking that I would come back and surrender myself to the authorities.’
    • ‘There is also an undertaking that the applicant had 28 days at that period of time in which to lodge the application.’
    • ‘He has then given an undertaking that until the wife goes back to court, he will not seek to take the child from the wife's control.’
    • ‘As a result of this agreement, doctors gave the health authorities an undertaking that they would resume overtime duties with immediate effect.’
    • ‘They were given an undertaking that this law would be passed.’
    • ‘When we made the original deal we gave an undertaking that we would let the Council see what we are doing.’
    • ‘He gave an undertaking that everything would be up and running before the end of this month.’
    • ‘He made it clear that, unless we issued him with an undertaking that we would not publish her name, he was instructed to seek an immediate interdict to prevent us naming her.’
    • ‘If counsel breaches such an undertaking that can be dealt with.’
    • ‘The company in Italy has given us an undertaking that the lift will be operational by April 10.’
    • ‘He said he gave residents an undertaking that he would deal with anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘The manager was very understanding of the problems encountered by the organiser this year and gave an undertaking that he would review procedures.’
    • ‘If there is to be an economy of scale we'd like an undertaking that the university will make sure there are going to be no compulsory job losses.’
    • ‘The station was asked to give an undertaking that it will present any argument or discussion about the new broadcast franchise in a fair and balanced way while it continues on the air.’
    • ‘In the application, my learned friend said that, if it was to be granted, there was an agreement or, at least, there was an undertaking that costs would be paid in any event to the respondent.’
    • ‘Much of the process is now automated, and the banks have given an undertaking that they will respond within five days.’
    • ‘Saplings will be given free of cost to all those who give an undertaking that they would take care of them.’
    • ‘Well, the customs of marriage in the Roman Catholic Church include an additional requirement - that is, an undertaking that one will have children.’
    • ‘We had an undertaking that we would be able to speak.’
    pledge, agreement, promise, oath, covenant, vow, word, word of honour, solemn word, bond, commitment, guarantee, assurance, warrant, contract, compact
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The action of undertaking to do something.
      ‘the knowing undertaking of an obligation’
      • ‘It is not to be involved in the actual undertaking of the task to gather the evidence.’
      • ‘In undertaking that task, it may be, and commonly will be, necessary to make some assessment of the strength of the case for invalidity.’
      • ‘The film is organised around the undertaking of a single task.’
      • ‘The strength of practice nurses, says the writer, is that the care they offer patients is based on research rather than the ritualistic undertaking of tasks allocated by general practitioners.’
  • 2A task that is taken on; an enterprise.

    ‘a mammoth undertaking that involved digging into the side of a cliff face’
    • ‘The task was a mammoth undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of research, writing, sourcing photographs and planning the events of the day itself.’
    • ‘‘The task ahead for you is a mammoth undertaking to ensure the continuation of our fishing industries,’ he told the 300 delegates.’
    • ‘From the beginning, however, the system was built on trust - a risky undertaking in a society where profit rarely takes a backseat to trust.’
    • ‘From the start, it was clearly a mammoth undertaking, but Jack feels it was worth it.’
    • ‘It was a mammoth undertaking, a five-year project in the planning, filmed over 15 months and involving over 90 speaking parts.’
    • ‘Keeping these items safe will be a mammoth undertaking.’
    • ‘Reprising his Oscar winning role was a risky undertaking.’
    • ‘‘It would be a mammoth undertaking to have all the big countries and their supporters coming here,’ Smith admitted.’
    • ‘Frankly, I don't think so, even if the undertaking should prove risky and difficult.’
    • ‘It has been a mammoth undertaking and is the culmination of many hundreds of hours of research, editing and printing.’
    • ‘Irrespective of the success of the government's latest initiative, eradicating poverty among such a large proportion of the population would prove a mammoth undertaking.’
    • ‘As he suggests, it's a risky undertaking, but one the reader will believe worth the effort’
    • ‘Building roads is an undertaking that is unlikely to get any cheaper any time soon.’
    • ‘But the sympathetic atmosphere of the present occasion gives me the confidence to carry out such a risky undertaking.’
    • ‘But in terms of practicality, getting it done, getting it written, getting it edited, a series would be a mammoth undertaking at this point.’
    • ‘At-home hair coloring used to be a risky undertaking: Too often, hair ended up looking like a botched science experiment.’
    • ‘The appetite for political consulting is triggered by the recognition that campaigning is an undertaking for professionals.’
    • ‘He stressed that it will be a mammoth undertaking.’
    • ‘The 1956 Suez Crisis was a multilateral enterprise - an undertaking by France, Great Britain, and Israel.’
    • ‘That's a big project, a huge undertaking, and I didn't necessarily understand how big it would be.’
    enterprise, venture, project, campaign, scheme, plan, operation, endeavour, effort, task, assignment, charge, activity, pursuit, exploit, job, business, affair, procedure, proceeding, process, transaction
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A company or business.
      ‘national transport undertakings’
      • ‘Measures to privatize publicly owned undertakings and weaken trade unions were also introduced.’
      • ‘Prospective issuers include 17 public sector undertakings, 11 public sector banks, four private sector banks, and six media companies.’
      • ‘Among the eight Indian companies in the list, three companies are public sector undertakings while five are from the private sector.’
      • ‘With hardly a credible debate on the rationale and justification of rapid disinvestment, some of the most profitable or strategically important public sector undertakings are being privatised.’
      • ‘At present, the subsidy for these vehicles is available only for government organisations, NGOs, public sector undertakings and industries.’
      • ‘Perhaps ironically, for a business whose potential rests on the World Wide Web, on-line grocery retailing is a local undertaking.’
      • ‘The administration ropes in all educational institutions, government offices, public sector undertakings and universities for the purpose of mobilising funds.’
      • ‘They were as much, maybe more, involved in producing transport technology as the public undertakings and private enterprises were.’
      • ‘Some of these companies are now successful business undertakings, but others have only just managed to put systems in place.’
      • ‘At present, all government departments and undertakings and private companies have done away with the sports quota.’
      • ‘There is no way in which staff of public transport undertakings should have to put up with this kind of mindless violence.’
      • ‘Speaking generally, the question of transfer may arise where an undertaking or business carried out by one or more employees ceases to be carried out by one employer and starts to be carried out by another employer.’
      • ‘The privatization of an undertaking may also give rise to questions concerning state aid, depending upon the terms of the privatization.’
      company, business, firm, enterprise, venture, organization, operation, industry, corporation, establishment, house, shop, office, bureau, agency, franchise, practice, partnership, consortium, cooperative, conglomerate, group, combine, syndicate
      View synonyms
  • 3mass noun The business of managing funerals.