take (v.)

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.

take (n.)

1650s, "that which is taken," from take (v.). Sense of "money taken in" by a single performance, etc., is from 1931. Movie-making sense is recorded from 1927. Criminal sense of "money acquired by theft" is from 1888. The verb sense of "to cheat, defraud" is from 1920. On the take "amenable to bribery" is from 1930.

Definitions of take
take (v.)
carry out;
take action
take steps
take vengeance
take (v.)
require (time or space);
It took three hours to get to work this morning
Synonyms: occupy / use up
take (v.)
take somebody somewhere;
can you take me to the main entrance?
Synonyms: lead / direct / conduct / guide
take (v.)
get into one's hands, take physically;
Can you take this bag, please
Synonyms: get hold of
take (v.)
take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect;
His voice took on a sad tone
The story took a new turn
Synonyms: assume / acquire / adopt / take on
take (v.)
interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression;
How should I take this message?
Synonyms: read
take (v.)
take something or somebody with oneself somewhere;
Synonyms: bring / convey
take (v.)
take into one's possession;
I'll take three salmon steaks
take (v.)
travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route;
He takes the bus to work
She takes Route 1 to Newark
take (v.)
pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives;
Synonyms: choose / select / pick out
take (v.)
receive willingly something given or offered;
Synonyms: accept / have
take (v.)
assume, as of positions or roles;
She took the job as director of development
Synonyms: fill / occupy
take (v.)
take into consideration for exemplifying purposes;
Synonyms: consider / deal / look at
take (v.)
require as useful, just, or proper;
It takes nerve to do what she did
Synonyms: necessitate / ask / postulate / need / require / involve / call for / demand
take (v.)
experience or feel or submit to;
take (v.)
make a film or photograph of something;
take a scene
Synonyms: film / shoot
take (v.)
remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract;
take the gun from your pocket
Synonyms: remove / take away / withdraw
take (v.)
serve oneself to, or consume regularly;
I don't take sugar in my coffee
Synonyms: consume / ingest / take in / have
take (v.)
accept or undergo, often unwillingly;
We took a pay cut
Synonyms: submit
take (v.)
make use of or accept for some purpose;
take an opportunity
take a risk
Synonyms: accept
take (v.)
take by force;
Hitler took the Baltic Republics
The army took the fort on the hill
take (v.)
occupy or take on;
She took up her position behind the tree
She took her seat on the stage
We took our seats in the orchestra
Synonyms: assume / strike / take up
take (v.)
admit into a group or community;
Synonyms: accept / admit / take on
take (v.)
ascertain or determine by measuring, computing or take a reading from a dial;
take a pulse
A reading was taken of the earth's tremors
take (v.)
be a student of a certain subject;
Synonyms: learn / study / read
take (v.)
take as an undesirable consequence of some event or state of affairs;
The hard work took its toll on her
Synonyms: claim / exact
take (v.)
head into a specified direction;
The escaped convict took to the hills
Synonyms: make
take (v.)
point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards;
Synonyms: aim / train / take aim / direct
take (v.)
be seized or affected in a specified way;
take sick
be taken drunk
take (v.)
have with oneself; have on one's person;
She always takes an umbrella
Synonyms: carry / pack
take (v.)
engage for service under a term of contract;
Shall we take a guide in Rome?
We took an apartment on a quiet street
Synonyms: lease / rent / hire / charter / engage
take (v.)
receive or obtain regularly;
We take the Times every day
Synonyms: subscribe / subscribe to
take (v.)
buy, select;
I'll take a pound of that sausage
take (v.)
to get into a position of having, e.g., safety, comfort;
take shelter from the storm
take (v.)
have sex with; archaic use;
He had taken this woman when she was most vulnerable
Synonyms: have
take (v.)
lay claim to; as of an idea;
She took credit for the whole idea
Synonyms: claim
take (v.)
be designed to hold or take;
This surface will not take the dye
Synonyms: accept
take (v.)
be capable of holding or containing;
This box won't take all the items
Synonyms: contain / hold
take (v.)
develop a habit;
He took to visiting bars
take (v.)
proceed along in a vehicle;
Synonyms: drive
take (v.)
obtain by winning;
He took first prize
Winner takes all
take (v.)
be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness;
She took a chill
Synonyms: contract / get
take (n.)
the income or profit arising from such transactions as the sale of land or other property;
Synonyms: return / issue / takings / proceeds / yield / payoff
take (n.)
the act of photographing a scene or part of a scene without interruption;