Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Men who take from the poor daily interest for a drachma, and spend it in debauchery.

Well, I've got to take the madam and the young folks over to the Casino.

Take it at once, and tell her I shall be up to see her presently.

The city-pent, as we have intimated, must take this season largely on faith.

There was a long, airy gallery, in which he was allowed to take exercise any hour of the day.

Then it's better to take him out back of the barn and shoot him, by Gad!

Will you take care of some money for me until I get a chance to deposit it in the savings bank?

And now, Uncle Paul, if you don't object I'll take out my pipe and have a smoke.

I wonder what Will Paine will say when he sees the good care you take of it.

You will probably see me out again in a few days, if you take the trouble to look.


late Old English tacan, from a Scandinavian source (e.g. Old Norse taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok, past participle tekinn; Swedish ta, past participle tagit), from Proto-Germanic *tækanan (cf. Middle Low German tacken, Middle Dutch taken, Gothic tekan "to touch"), of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch."

Gradually replaced Middle English nimen as the verb for "to take," from Old English niman, from the usual West Germanic *nem- root (cf. German nehmen, Dutch nemen; see nimble). OED calls it "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary's 2nd print edition. Basic sense is "to lay hold of," which evolved to "accept, receive" (as in take my advice) c.1200; "absorb" (she can take a punch) c.1200; "to choose, select" (take the long way home) late 13c.; "to make, obtain" (take a shower) late 14c.; "to become affected by" (take sick) c.1300.

Take five is 1929, from the approximate time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Take it easy first recorded 1880; take the plunge "act decisively" is from 1876; take the rap "accept (undeserved) punishment" is from 1930. Phrase take it or leave it is recorded from 1897.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.