c. 1200, "toward the rear," a contraction of Old English on bæc "backward, behind, at or on the back;" see see a- (1) + back (n.). Now surviving mainly in taken aback, which originally was a nautical expression in reference to a vessel's square sails when a sudden change of wind flattens them back against the masts and stops the forward motion (1754). The figurative sense from this, "suddenly or unexpectedly checked or disappointed," is by 1792.
late Old English tacan "to take, seize," from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok, past participle tekinn; Swedish ta, past participle tagit), from Proto-Germanic *takan- (source also of Middle Low German tacken, Middle Dutch taken, Gothic tekan "to touch"), from Germanic root *tak- "to take," of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch."
As the principal verb for "to take," it gradually replaced Middle English nimen, from Old English niman, from the usual West Germanic verb, *nemanan (source of German nehmen, Dutch nemen; see nimble).
OED calls take "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary's 2nd print edition. Basic sense is "to lay hold of," which evolved to "accept, receive" (as in take my advice) c. 1200; "absorb" (take a punch) c. 1200; "choose, select" (take the high road) late 13c.; "to make, obtain" (take a shower) late 14c.; "to become affected by" (take sick) c. 1300.
Take five is 1929, from the approximate time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Take it easy is recorded by 1880; take the plunge "act decisively" is from 1876; take the rap "accept (undeserved) punishment" is from 1930. Phrase take it or leave it is recorded from 1897. To take (something) on "begin to do" is from late 12c. To take it out on (someone or something) "vent one's anger on other than what caused it" is by 1840.
"to or toward the rear or the original starting place; in the past; behind in position," literally or figuratively, late 14c., shortened from abak, from Old English on bæc "backwards, behind, aback" (see back (n.), and compare aback). To give (something) back is to give it again, to give it in the opposite direction to that in which it was formerly given. Adverbial phrase back and forth is attested by 1814.
1530s, from Modern Latin subsumere "to take under," from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + sumere "to take, obtain, buy," from sus‑, variant of sub‑ "up from under" + emere "to take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute"). Related: Subsumed; subsuming, subsumption.
c. 1400, resumen, "repossess, resume possession" (of goods, money, etc.); early 15c., "regain, take back, take to oneself anew" (courage, strength, hope, etc.); from Old French resumer (14c.) and directly from Latin resumere "take again, take up again, assume again," from re- "again" (denoting "repetition of an action;" see re-) + sumere "to take, obtain, buy," from sus‑, variant of sub‑ "up from under" + emere "to take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute").
From mid-15c. as "recommence, continue (a practice, custom, occupation, etc.), begin again after interruption;" also "begin again." The intransitive sense of "proceed after interruption" is from 1802. Related: Resumed; resuming.