follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

undertook

[uhn-der-too k] /ˌʌn dərˈtʊk/
verb
1.
simple past tense of undertake.

undertake

[uhn-der-teyk] /ˌʌn dərˈteɪk/
verb (used with object), undertook, undertaken, undertaking.
1.
to take upon oneself, as a task, performance, etc.; attempt:
She undertook the job of answering all the mail.
2.
to promise, agree, or obligate oneself (followed by an infinitive):
The married couple undertook to love, honor, and cherish each other.
3.
to warrant or guarantee (followed by a clause):
The sponsors undertake that their candidate meets all the requirements.
4.
to take in charge; assume the duty of attending to:
The lawyer undertook a new case.
verb (used without object), undertook, undertaken, undertaking.
5.
Archaic. to engage oneself by promise; give a guarantee, or become surety.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English undertaken; see under-, take
Related forms
preundertake, verb (used with object), preundertook, preundertaken, preundertaking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for undertook
  • Treatment teams recruited from the population then undertook the sponging regimen.
  • Except the medical professionals that undertook those investigations.
  • The article describes some specific expeditions he undertook to find rare plant species.
  • And he undertook building projects of remarkable scope, ambition, and creativity.
  • He undertook to look into the matter and report back the findings.
  • The violence and foresight with which he undertook his task did not suggest an animal quietly foraging.
  • She undertook this globetrotting adventure for two reasons: to feed her wanderlust and to ponder her own final resting place.
  • Several companies undertook deals that made strategic sense during the bubble, but were lured into taking on too much debt.
  • At the same time, they undertook to protect the voting share of the fund's poorest members.
  • The government's solicitor-general undertook not to make any payments until the court case was concluded.
British Dictionary definitions for undertook

undertook

/ˌʌndəˈtʊk/
verb
1.
the past tense of undertake

undertake

/ˌʌndəˈteɪk/
verb -takes, -taking, -took, -taken
1.
(transitive) to contract to or commit oneself to (something) or (to do something): to undertake a job, to undertake to deliver the goods
2.
(transitive) to attempt to; agree to start
3.
(transitive) to take (someone) in charge
4.
(archaic) (intransitive) foll by for. to make oneself responsible (for)
5.
(transitive) to promise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for undertook

undertake

v.

c.1200, "to entrap," in the same sense as Old English underniman (cf. Dutch ondernemen, German unternehmen), of which it is a partial loan-translation, from under + take. Cf. also French entreprendre "to undertake," from entre "between, among" + prendre "to take." The under in this word may be the same one that also may form the first element of understand. Meaning "to accept" is attested from mid-13c.; that of "to take upon oneself, to accept the duty of" is from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for undertook

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for undertook

14
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with undertook