undertook

[uhn-der-took]
verb
simple past tense of undertake.
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undertake

[uhn-der-teyk]
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; Middle English undertaken; see under-, take

preundertake, verb (used with object), preundertook, preundertaken, preundertaking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
undertake (ˌʌndəˈteɪk)
 
vb (foll by for) , -takes, -taking, -took, -taken
1.  (tr) to contract to or commit oneself to (something) or (to do something): to undertake a job; to undertake to deliver the goods
2.  (tr) to attempt to; agree to start
3.  (tr) to take (someone) in charge
4.  archaic to make oneself responsible (for)
5.  (tr) to promise

undertook (ˌʌndəˈtʊk)
 
vb
the past tense of undertake

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

undertake
c.1200, "to entrap," in the same sense as O.E. underniman (cf. Du. ondernemen, Ger. unternehmen), of which it is a partial loan-translation, from under + take. Cf. also Fr. 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. Undertaking "enterprise" is recorded from early 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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