take in


noun Informal.
a deception, fraud, or imposition.

1770–80; noun use of verb phrase take in

Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), took, taken, taking.
to get into one's hold or possession by voluntary action: to take a cigarette out of a box; to take a pen and begin to write.
to hold, grasp, or grip: to take a book in one's hand; to take a child by the hand.
to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice: to take a bone from a snarling dog.
to seize or capture: to take an enemy town; to take a prisoner.
to catch or get (fish, game, etc.), especially by killing: to take a dozen trout on a good afternoon.
to pick from a number; select: Take whichever you wish.
to receive and accept willingly (something given or offered): to take a compliment with a smile; to take a bribe.
to receive or be the recipient of (something bestowed, administered, etc.): to take first prize.
to accept and act upon or comply with: to take advice; to take a dare.
to receive or accept (a person) into some relation: to take someone in marriage; to take new members once a year.
to receive, react, or respond to in a specified manner: Although she kept calm, she took his death hard.
to form in the mind; make: The company took the decision to shut down.
to receive as a payment or charge: He refused to take any money for the use of his car.
to gain for use by payment, lease, etc.: to take a box at the opera; to take a beach house for a month.
to secure regularly or periodically by payment: to take a magazine.
to get or obtain from a source; derive: The book takes its title from Dante.
to extract or quote: He took whole passages straight from Dickens.
to obtain or exact as compensation for some wrong: to take revenge.
to receive into the body or system, as by swallowing or inhaling: to take a pill; to take a breath of fresh air.
to have for one's benefit or use: to take a meal; to take a nap; to take a bath.
to use as a flavoring agent in a food or beverage: to take sugar in one's coffee.
to be subjected to; undergo: to take a heat treatment.
to endure or submit to with equanimity or without an appreciable weakening of one's resistance: to take a joke; unable to take punishment.
to enter into the enjoyment of (recreation, a holiday, etc.): to take a vacation.
to carry off without permission: to take something that belongs to another.
to remove: to take the pins out of one's hair.
to remove by death: The flood took many families.
to end (a life): She took her own life.
to subtract or deduct: If you take 2 from 5, that leaves 3.
to carry with one: Take your lunch with you. Are you taking an umbrella?
to convey in a means of transportation: We took them for a ride in the country.
(of a vehicle) to convey or transport: Will this bus take me across town?
(of a road, path, etc.) to serve as a means of conducting to or through some place or region: Fifth Avenue took us through the center of town. These stairs will take you up to the attic.
to bring about a change in the state or condition of: Her ambition and perseverance took her quickly to the top of her field.
to conduct or escort: to take someone out for dinner.
to set about or succeed in getting over, through, or around (some obstacle); clear; negotiate: The horse took the hedge easily. He took the corner at top speed.
to come upon suddenly; catch: to take someone by surprise.
to get or contract; catch: He took cold over the weekend. I took a chill.
to attack or affect, as with a disease: suddenly taken with a fit of coughing.
to be capable of attaining as a result of some action or treatment: Most leathers take a high polish.
to absorb or become impregnated with; be susceptible to: Waxed paper will not take ink. This cloth takes dye.
to attract and hold: The red sweater took his eye. The urgent voice took her attention.
to captivate or charm: The kitten took my fancy.
to require: It takes courage to do that. The climb took all our strength.
to employ for some specified or implied purpose: to take measures to curb drugs.
to use as a means of transportation: to take a bus to the ferry.
to get on or board (a means of transportation) at a given time or in a given place: She takes the train at Scarsdale.
to proceed to occupy: to take a seat.
to occupy; fill (time, space, etc.): His hobby takes most of his spare time. The machine takes a lot of room.
to use up; consume: This car takes a great deal of oil. He took ten minutes to solve the problem.
to avail oneself of: He took the opportunity to leave. She took the time to finish it properly.
to do, perform, execute, etc.: to take a walk.
to go into or enter: Take the next road to the left.
to adopt and enter upon (a way, course, etc.): to take the path of least resistance.
to act or perform: to take the part of the hero.
to make (a reproduction, picture, or photograph): to take home movies of the children.
to make a picture, especially a photograph, of: The photographer took us sitting down.
to write down: to take a letter in shorthand; to take notes at a lecture.
to apply oneself to; study: to take ballet; She took four courses in her freshman year.
to deal with; treat: to take things in their proper order.
to proceed to handle in some manner: to take a matter under consideration.
to assume or undertake (a function, duty, job, etc.): The mayor took office last month.
to assume or adopt (a symbol, badge, or the like) as a token of office: to take the veil; to take the throne.
to assume the obligation of; be bound by: to take an oath.
to assume or adopt as one's own: to take someone's part in an argument; He took the side of the speaker.
to assume or appropriate as if by right: to take credit for someone else's work.
to accept the burden of: She took the blame for his failure.
to determine by inquiry, examination, measurement, scientific observation, etc.: to take someone's pulse; to take a census.
to make or carry out for purposes of yielding such a determination: to take someone's measurements; to take a seismographic reading.
to begin to have; experience (a certain feeling or state of mind): to take pride in one's appearance.
to form and hold in the mind: to take a gloomy view.
to grasp or apprehend mentally; understand; comprehend: Do you take my meaning, sir?
to understand in a specified way: You shouldn't take the remark as an insult.
to grasp the meaning of (a person): if we take him correctly.
to accept the statements of: to take him at his word.
to assume as a fact: I take it that you will be there.
to regard or consider: They were taken to be wealthy.
to capture or win (a piece, trick, etc.) in a game.
Informal. to cheat, swindle, or victimize: They really take people in that shop. The museum got taken on that painting.
to win or obtain money from: He took me for $10 in the poker game.
(of a man) to have sexual intercourse with.
Grammar. to be used with (a certain form, accent, case, mood, etc.): a verb that always takes an object.
Law. to acquire property, as on the happening of an event: They take a fortune under the will.
Baseball. (of a batter) to allow (a pitch) to go by without swinging at it: He took a third strike.
verb (used without object), took, taken, taking.
to catch or engage, as a mechanical device: She turned the key and heard a click as the catch took.
to strike root or begin to grow, as a plant.
to adhere, as ink, dye, or color.
(of a person or thing) to win favor or acceptance: a new TV show that took with the public.
to have the intended result or effect, as a medicine, inoculation, etc.: The vaccination took.
to enter into possession, as of an estate.
to detract (usually followed by from ).
to apply or devote oneself: He took to his studies.
to make one's way; proceed; go: to take across the meadow.
to fall or become: She took sick and had to go home.
to admit of being photographed in a particular manner: a model who takes exceptionally well.
to admit of being moved or separated: This crib takes apart for easy storage.
the act of taking.
something that is taken.
the quantity of fish, game, etc., taken at one time.
an opinion or assessment: What's your take on the candidate?
an approach; treatment: a new take on an old idea.
Informal. money taken in, especially profits.
Journalism. a portion of copy assigned to a Linotype operator or compositor, usually part of a story or article.
a scene, or a portion of a scene, photographed without any interruption or break.
an instance of such continuous operation of the camera.
Informal. a visual and mental response to something typically manifested in a stare expressing total absorption or wonderment: She did a slow take on being asked by reporters the same question for the third time.
a recording of a musical performance.
Medicine/Medical. a successful inoculation.
Verb phrases
take after,
to resemble (another person, as a parent) physically, temperamentally, etc.: The baby took after his mother.
Also, take off after, take out after. to follow; chase: The detective took after the burglars.
take back,
to regain possession of: to take back one's lawn mower.
to return, as for exchange: It was defective, so I took it back to the store.
to allow to return; resume a relationship with: She said she would never take him back again.
to cause to remember: It takes one back to the old days.
to retract: to take back a statement.
take down,
to move from a higher to a lower level or place.
to pull apart or take apart; dismantle; disassemble.
to write down; record.
to diminish the pride or arrogance of; humble: to take someone down a notch or two.
take for,
to assume to be: I took it for the truth.
to assume falsely to be; mistake for: to be taken for a foreigner.
take in,
to permit to enter; admit.
to alter (an article of clothing) so as to make smaller.
to provide lodging for.
to include; encompass.
to grasp the meaning of; comprehend.
to deceive; trick; cheat.
to observe; notice.
to visit or attend: to take in a show.
to furl (a sail).
to receive as proceeds, as from business activity.
Chiefly British. to subscribe to: to take in a magazine.
take off,
to remove: Take off your coat.
to lead away: The child was taken off by kidnappers.
Informal. to depart; leave: They took off yesterday for California.
to leave the ground, as an airplane.
to move onward or forward with a sudden or intense burst of speed: The police car took off after the drunken driver.
to withdraw or remove from: She was taken off the night shift.
to remove by death; kill: Millions were taken off by the Black Plague.
to make a likeness or copy of; reproduce.
to subtract, as a discount; deduct: Shop early and we'll take off 20 percent.
Informal. to imitate; mimic; burlesque.
Informal. to achieve sudden, marked growth, success, etc.: Sales took off just before Christmas. The actor's career took off after his role in that movie.
take on,
to hire; employ.
to undertake; assume: to take on new responsibilities.
to acquire: The situation begins to take on a new light.
to accept as a challenge; contend against: to take on a bully.
Informal. to show great emotion; become excited: There's no need to take on so.
take out,
to withdraw; remove: to take out a handkerchief.
to procure by application: to take out an insurance policy.
to carry out for use or consumption elsewhere: to take a book out of the library; to get food to take out.
to escort; invite: He takes out my sister now and then.
to set out; start: They took out for the nearest beach.
Slang. to kill; destroy.
take over, to assume management or possession of or responsibility for: The first officer took over the ship when the captain suffered a heart attack.
take to,
to devote or apply oneself to; become habituated to: to take to drink.
to respond favorably to; begin to like: They took to each other at once.
to go to: to take to one's bed.
to have recourse to; resort to: She took to getting up at five to go jogging before work.
take up,
to occupy oneself with the study or practice of: She took up painting in her spare time.
to lift or pick up: He took up the fallen leaves with a rake.
to occupy; cover: A grand piano would take up half of our living room.
to consume; use up; absorb: Traveling to her job takes up a great deal of time.
to begin to advocate or support; sponsor: He has taken up another struggling artist.
to continue; resume: We took up where we had left off.
to reply to in order to reprove: The author takes up his critics in the preface of his latest book.
to assume: He took up the duties of the presidency.
to absorb: Use a sponge to take up the spilled milk.
to make shorter, as by hemming: to take up the sleeves an inch.
to make tighter, as by winding in: to take up the slack in a reel of tape.
to deal with in discussion: to take up the issue of mass transit.
to adopt seriously: to take up the idea of seeking public office.
to accept, as an offer or challenge.
to buy as much as is offered: The sale was taken up in a matter of days.
Chiefly British. to clear by paying off, as a loan.
Obsolete. to arrest (especially a runaway slave).
take up with, Informal. to become friendly with; keep company with: He took up with a bad crowd.
on the take, Slang.
accepting bribes.
in search of personal profit at the expense of others.
take for granted. grant ( def 10 ).
take it,
to accept or believe something; aquiesce: I'll take it on your say-so.
Informal. to be able to resist or endure hardship, abuse, etc.
to understand: I take it that you're not interested.
take it out in, to accept as payment for services or as an equivalent of monetary compensation: He takes it out in goods instead of cash.
take it out of,
to exhaust; enervate: Every year the winter takes it out of me.
to exact payment from; penalize: They took it out of your pay.
take it out on, Informal. to cause (someone else) to suffer for one's own misfortune or dissatisfaction: Just because you're angry with him you don't have to take it out on me!
take up a collection, to ask for or gather donations, usually of money, from a number of people.
take upon oneself, to assume as a responsibility or obligation: She has taken it upon herself to support the family.

before 1100; Middle English taken to take, strike, lay hold of, grasp, late Old English tacan to grasp, touch < Old Norse taka to take; cognate with Middle Dutch taken to grasp, Gothic tekan to touch

takable, takeable, adjective
taker, noun
untakable, adjective
untakeable, adjective

bring, take (see synonym study at bring).

1. acquire, secure, procure. See bring. 6. choose. 23. bear, stand, tolerate. 43. delight, attract, interest, engage. 44. need, demand. 45. use. 68. ascertain. 76. suppose, presume.

1. give.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
take1 (teɪk)
vb (often foll by from) , takes, taking, took, taken
1.  (also intr) to gain possession of (something) by force or effort
2.  to appropriate or steal: to take other people's belongings
3.  to receive or accept into a relationship with oneself: to take a wife
4.  to pay for or buy
5.  to rent or lease: to take a flat in town
6.  to receive or obtain by regular payment: we take a newspaper every day
7.  to obtain by competing for; win: to take first prize
8.  to obtain or derive from a source: he took his good manners from his older brother
9.  to assume the obligations of: to take office
10.  to endure, esp with fortitude: to take punishment
11.  to adopt as a symbol of duty, obligation, etc: to take the veil
12.  to receive or react to in a specified way: she took the news very well
13.  to adopt as one's own: to take someone's part in a quarrel
14.  to receive and make use of: to take advice
15.  to receive into the body, as by eating, inhaling, etc: to take a breath
16.  to eat, drink, etc, esp habitually: to take sugar in one's tea
17.  to have or be engaged in for one's benefit or use: to take a rest
18.  to work at or study: to take economics at college
19.  to make, do, or perform (an action): to take a leap
20.  to make use of: to take an opportunity
21.  to put into effect; adopt: to take measures
22.  (also intr) to make a photograph of or admit of being photographed
23.  to act or perform: she takes the part of the Queen
24.  to write down or copy: to take notes
25.  to experience or feel: to take pride in one's appearance; to take offence
26.  to consider, believe, or regard: I take him to be honest
27.  to consider or accept as valid: I take your point
28.  to hold or maintain in the mind: his father took a dim view of his career
29.  to deal or contend with: the tennis champion took her opponent's best strokes without difficulty
30.  to use as a particular case: take hotels for example
31.  to diminish or detract: the actor's bad performance took from the effect of the play
32.  to confront successfully: the horse took the jump at the third attempt
33.  (intr) to have or produce the intended effect; succeed: her vaccination took; the glue is taking well
34.  (intr) (of seeds, plants, etc) to start growing successfully
35.  to aim or direct: he took a swipe at his opponent
36.  to deal a blow to in a specified place
37.  archaic to have sexual intercourse with
38.  to carry off or remove from a place
39.  to carry along or have in one's possession: don't forget to take your umbrella
40.  to convey or transport: the train will take us out of the city
41.  to use as a means of transport: I shall take the bus
42.  to conduct or lead: this road takes you to the station
43.  to escort or accompany: may I take you out tonight?
44.  to bring or deliver to a state, position, etc: his ability took him to the forefront in his field
45.  to go to look for; seek: to take cover
46.  to ascertain or determine by measuring, computing, etc: to take a pulse; take a reading from a dial
47.  (intr) (of a mechanism) to catch or engage (a part)
48.  to put an end to; destroy: she took her own life
49.  to come upon unexpectedly; discover
50.  to contract: he took a chill
51.  to affect or attack: the fever took him one night
52.  (copula) to become suddenly or be rendered (ill): he took sick; he was taken sick
53.  (also intr) to absorb or become absorbed by something: to take a polish
54.  (usually passive) to charm or captivate: she was very taken with the puppy
55.  (intr) to be or become popular; win favour
56.  to require or need: this job will take a lot of attention; that task will take all your time
57.  to subtract or deduct: to take six from ten leaves four
58.  to hold or contain: the suitcase won't take all your clothes
59.  to quote or copy: he has taken several paragraphs from the book for his essay
60.  to proceed to occupy: to take a seat
61.  (often foll by to) to use or employ: to take steps to ascertain the answer
62.  to win or capture (a trick, counter, piece, etc)
63.  (also intr) to catch as prey or catch prey
64.  slang to cheat, deceive, or victimize
65.  take amiss to be annoyed or offended by
66.  take at one's word See word
67.  take care to pay attention; be heedful
68.  take care of to assume responsibility for; look after
69.  take chances, take a chance to behave in a risky manner
70.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) take five to take a break of five minutes
71.  take heart to become encouraged
72.  take it
 a.  to assume; believe: I take it you'll be back later
 b.  informal to stand up to or endure criticism, abuse, harsh treatment, etc
73.  take one's time to use as much time as is needed; not rush
74.  take place to happen or occur
75.  take someone's name in vain
 a.  to use a name, esp of God, disrespectfully or irreverently
 b.  jocular to say (someone's) name
76.  take something upon oneself to assume the right to do or responsibility for (something)
77.  the act of taking
78.  the number of quarry killed or captured on one occasion
79.  informal chiefly (US) the amount of anything taken, esp money
80.  films, music
 a.  one of a series of recordings from which the best will be selected for release
 b.  the process of taking one such recording
 c.  a scene or part of a scene photographed without interruption
81.  informal
 a.  any objective indication of a successful vaccination, such as a local skin reaction
 b.  a successful skin graft
82.  printing a part of an article, story, etc, given to a compositor or keyboard operator for setting in type
83.  informal a try or attempt
84.  informal chiefly (US) a version or interpretation: Cronenberg's harsh take on the sci-fi story
[Old English tacan, from Old Norse taka; related to Gothic tekan to touch]

take2 (ˈtɑːkɪ)
(NZ) a topic or cause

take in
1.  to comprehend or understand
2.  to include or comprise: his thesis takes in that point
3.  to receive into one's house in exchange for payment: to take in washing; take in lodgers
4.  to make (an article of clothing, etc) smaller by altering seams
5.  to include: the tour takes in the islands as well as the mainland
6.  informal to cheat or deceive
7.  to go to; visit: let's take in a movie tonight
8.  informal the act or an instance of cheating or deceiving

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. tacan, from a N.Gmc. source (e.g. O.N. taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok, pp. tekinn; Swed. ta, pp. tagit), from P.Gmc. *tækanan (cf. M.L.G. tacken, M.Du. taken, Goth. tekan "to touch"), of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch." Gradually replaced M.E. nimen
as the verb for "to take," from O.E. niman, from the usual W.Gmc. *nem- root (cf. Ger. nehmen, Du. nemen), also of unknown origin. OED calls it "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary. 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.

1654, "that which is taken in payment," from take (v.). Sense of "money taken in" by a single performance, etc., is from 1931. Movie-making sense is recorded from 1927. Criminal sense of "money acquired by theft" is from 1888. The verb sense of "to cheat, defraud" is from 1920.
On the take "amenable to bribery" is from 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

take in

  1. Admit, receive as a guest or employee, as in They offered to take in two of the orphaned children. [First half of 1500s]

  2. Reduce in size, make smaller or shorter, as in I've lost some weight so I'll have to take in my clothes. [Early 1500s]

  3. Include or constitute, as in This list takes in all the members, past and present. [Mid-1600s]

  4. Understand, as in I couldn't take in all that French dialogue in the movie. [Second half of 1600s]

  5. Deceive, swindle, as in That alleged fundraiser took me in completely. [First half of 1700s]

  6. Look at thoroughly, as in We want to take in all the sights. [First half of 1700s]

  7. Accept work to be done at home, as in His grandmother took in washing to support her children. [First half of 1800s]

  8. Receive as proceeds, as in We had a good audience; how much did we take in? [Late 1800s] Also see the following entries beginning with take in.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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