take in

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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