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Take Up

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Definition of the noun take up

What does take up mean as a name of something?


  1. [context: machinery] That which takes up or tightens; specifically, a device in a sewing machine for drawing up the slack thread as the needle rises, in completing a stitch.

Definition of the verb take up

What does take up mean as a doing phrase?


  1. pursue or resume
    • example: take up a matter for consideration
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic words: embark / enter = set out on
  2. adopt
  3. turn one's interest to
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic word: turn = channel one's attention, interest, thought, or attention toward or away from something
  4. take up time or space
    • example: take up the slack
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Theme 1] [Verb] [Theme 2]Success requires hard work
      [Theme 1] [Verb] [Theme 2] from [Source]Success requires hard work from us
      [Theme 1] [Verb] [Theme 2, arbitrary control with -ing]Success requires working long hours
      [Theme 1] [Verb] [Theme 2, for-complement clause]Success requires for us to work hard
      [Theme 1] [Verb] [Theme 2, that-complement clause]Success requires that we work hard

      Require Verbs (with the same syntax): demand, involve, necessitate, need, require, take.

    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic words: fill / occupy = occupy the whole of
  5. begin work or acting in a certain capacity, office or job
    • example: Take up a position
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonym of take up: start
    • more specific term: take office = assume an office, duty, or title
  6. take up and practice as one's own
  7. occupy or take on
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonyms of take up: assume / strike / take
    • more generic word: move = move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  8. take up a liquid or a gas either by adsorption or by absorption
    • domain: chemical science / chemistry
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonym of take up: sorb
    • more generic terms: change state / turn = undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
    • more specific words:
      • absorb = become imbued
      • adsorb = accumulate (liquids or gases) on the surface
      • chemisorb = take up a substance by chemisorption
  9. take out or up with or as if with a scoop
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonyms of take up: lift out / scoop / scoop out / scoop up
    • more generic terms: remove / take / take away / withdraw = remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract
    • more specific word: dip = scoop up by plunging one's hand or a ladle below the surface
  10. accept
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonym of take up: take in
    • more generic words: have / receive = get something
    • more specific word: fuel = take in fuel, as of a ship
  11. take in, also metaphorically
  12. take up as if with a sponge
  13. return to a previous location or condition
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of take up: resume
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence

Alternative definition of the verb take up


  1. [transitive] To pick up.
  2. [transitive] Specifically, to remove from a secure position on the floor, ground etc.
  3. [transitive] to begin doing (an activity) on a regular basis.
  4. [transitive] to address (an issue).
  5. [transitive] to occupy; to consume (space or time).
  6. [transitive] to shorten by hemming
  7. [transitive, with on] To accept from.
  8. [intransitive] to resume

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Take Up

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewRodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (2009)

The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener by Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, Ellen Phillips

Rooted cuttings take up less space indoors than entire plants, and there is less chance of inadvertently overwintering diseases or insect pests. Take cut— tings from your overwintering plants in late winter to propagate more transplants to move ...

Google previewThe Chambers Crossword Dictionary, 3rd edition (2012)

by Chambers,

wheel Reversal down indicators include: arise ascend ascendant bring up climb come up elevate elevated give rise to hold up keel over mount over overturn put up raised rise rising send up serve up set up setup take up turn over turn up up ...

Google previewA Dictionary of the English Language ... Abstracted from the folio edition of the author ... Fourteenth edition, corrected, etc (1828)

To TAKE up. To borrow upon credit or interest. Surift. To TAKE up. To be ready for; to engage with. Shaksp.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Take Up

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Usage statistics about take up

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb take up:


Photos about Take Up

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take up

Take Up Your Cross

Photo credit: auntjojo

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Small photo of Inspirational Typographic Quote - Don't let yesterday take up too much of todaySmall photo of Take up the virtual brain graphics, graphic design of science and technology.Small photo of Rest on cruise ships is becoming more popular among travelers. Modern ocean liners can take up to 5,000 touristsSmall photo of Young man sitting on the floor in an old public library and reading books. Learning the concept. Student will take up self-education in the library.Small photo of Handmade of pink heart and pot , Take up an hobby crochet color yarn. More...

Video language resources about Take Up

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View more videos about Take Up a Collection and Take Up the Gauntlet.

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Quotes about Take Up

A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands. (Niccolo Machiavelli)
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