apprehension; understanding or comprehension; mental grasp: quick on the uptake.
an act or instance of taking up; a lifting: the uptake of fertilizer by machines.
Also called take-up. Machinery. a pipe or passage leading upward from below, as for conducting smoke or a current of air.
Physiology, absorption.

1810–20; up- + take; compare take-up

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To uptake
World English Dictionary
uptake (ˈʌpˌteɪk)
1.  a pipe, shaft, etc, that is used to convey smoke or gases, esp one that connects a furnace to a chimney
2.  mining another term for upcast
3.  taking up or lifting up
4.  the act of accepting or taking up something on offer or available
5.  informal quick on the uptake quick to understand or learn
6.  informal slow on the uptake slow to understand or learn

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

"capacity for understanding," 1816, from up + take. Cf. obs. verb uptake "to pick or take up," attested from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

uptake up·take (ŭp'tāk')
The absorption by a tissue of a substance, such as a nutrient, and its permanent or temporary retention.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see on the uptake.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Although this rarely happens, it induces buyers to spread the word among
  friends and family, boosting the uptake.
Most of those drugs work by slowing the uptake of signal-sending chemicals
  called neurotransmitters.
Sadly, the human people are slow on the uptake, and totally self-interested.
These lung cancer cells had been genetically modified to increase iodine uptake.
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature