Definition of undertaking in English:



  • 1A formal pledge or promise to do something.

    ‘I give an undertaking that we shall proceed with the legislation’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a result of this agreement, doctors gave the health authorities an undertaking that they would resume overtime duties with immediate effect.’
    • ‘The manager was very understanding of the problems encountered by the organiser this year and gave an undertaking that he would review procedures.’
    • ‘We had an undertaking that we would be able to speak.’
    • ‘There is also an undertaking that the applicant had 28 days at that period of time in which to lodge the application.’
    • ‘When we made the original deal we gave an undertaking that we would let the Council see what we are doing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said he gave residents an undertaking that he would deal with anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Much of the process is now automated, and the banks have given an undertaking that they will respond within five days.’
    • ‘He gave an undertaking that everything would be up and running before the end of this month.’
    • ‘Saplings will be given free of cost to all those who give an undertaking that they would take care of them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I had to sign an undertaking that I would come back and surrender myself to the authorities.’
    • ‘Well, the customs of marriage in the Roman Catholic Church include an additional requirement - that is, an undertaking that one will have children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were given an undertaking that this law would be passed.’
    pledge, agreement, promise, oath, covenant, vow, word, word of honour, solemn word, bond, commitment, guarantee, assurance, warrant, contract, compact
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    1. 1.1mass noun The action of undertaking to do something.
      ‘the knowing undertaking of an obligation’
      • ‘The film is organised around the undertaking of a single task.’
      • ‘In undertaking that task, it may be, and commonly will be, necessary to make some assessment of the strength of the case for invalidity.’
      • ‘It is not to be involved in the actual undertaking of the task to gather the evidence.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘‘It would be a mammoth undertaking to have all the big countries and their supporters coming here,’ Smith admitted.’
    • ‘He stressed that it will be a mammoth undertaking.’
    • ‘‘The task ahead for you is a mammoth undertaking to ensure the continuation of our fishing industries,’ he told the 300 delegates.’
    • ‘As he suggests, it's a risky undertaking, but one the reader will believe worth the effort’
    • ‘From the beginning, however, the system was built on trust - a risky undertaking in a society where profit rarely takes a backseat to trust.’
    • ‘It has been a mammoth undertaking and is the culmination of many hundreds of hours of research, editing and printing.’
    • ‘Reprising his Oscar winning role was a risky undertaking.’
    • ‘From the start, it was clearly a mammoth undertaking, but Jack feels it was worth it.’
    • ‘The task was a mammoth undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of research, writing, sourcing photographs and planning the events of the day itself.’
    • ‘At-home hair coloring used to be a risky undertaking: Too often, hair ended up looking like a botched science experiment.’
    • ‘Frankly, I don't think so, even if the undertaking should prove risky and difficult.’
    • ‘Keeping these items safe will be a mammoth undertaking.’
    • ‘The 1956 Suez Crisis was a multilateral enterprise - an undertaking by France, Great Britain, and Israel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a mammoth undertaking, a five-year project in the planning, filmed over 15 months and involving over 90 speaking parts.’
    • ‘Building roads is an undertaking that is unlikely to get any cheaper any time soon.’
    • ‘The appetite for political consulting is triggered by the recognition that campaigning is an undertaking for professionals.’
    • ‘That's a big project, a huge undertaking, and I didn't necessarily understand how big it would be.’
    • ‘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.’
    enterprise, venture, project, campaign, scheme, plan, operation, endeavour, effort, task, assignment, charge, activity, pursuit, exploit, job, business, affair, procedure, proceeding, process, transaction
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    1. 2.1 A company or business.
      ‘national transport undertakings’
      • ‘Perhaps ironically, for a business whose potential rests on the World Wide Web, on-line grocery retailing is a local undertaking.’
      • ‘At present, the subsidy for these vehicles is available only for government organisations, NGOs, public sector undertakings and industries.’
      • ‘They were as much, maybe more, involved in producing transport technology as the public undertakings and private enterprises were.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is no way in which staff of public transport undertakings should have to put up with this kind of mindless violence.’
      • ‘Among the eight Indian companies in the list, three companies are public sector undertakings while five are from the private sector.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The administration ropes in all educational institutions, government offices, public sector undertakings and universities for the purpose of mobilising funds.’
      • ‘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
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  • 3mass noun The business of managing funerals.