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take on (so)
to behave very emotionally. (Usually negative.) Stop crying. Please don't take on so. I wish you wouldn't take on about this matter.
take someone on
1. to enter into a fight or argument with someone. I pretended to agree because I really didn't want to take him on.
2. to employ someone. I think we could take you on as an assistant editor, but it doesn't pay very well.
take someone or something on
to accept the task of handling a difficult person or thing. I'll take it on if nobody else will do it. Nobody wanted to take on Mrs. Franklin, but it had to be done.
take on somebodyalso take somebody on
1. to fight or compete against someone Later today, the World Cup champions take on Chile. When you take a fighter like that on, you could end up in big trouble.
2. to employ someone The law firm took on a new partner. She wasn't sure if she should take a new programmer on right now.
take on something
to begin to have something A chameleon can take on the color of the leaf it is on, making it hard to see. Her voice took on a troubled tone.
take on somethingalso take something on
1. to fight against something You have to be well prepared to take on a large corporation. We understand how this disease works, and we're ready to take it on.
2. to accept something My sister took on the responsibility of caring for our elderly mother. I knew it was going to be a difficult job I wouldn't want to take it on.
1. Undertake or begin to deal with, as in I took on new responsibilities, or She took on too much when she accepted both assignments. [Early 1300s]
2. Hire, engage, as in We take on extra workers during the busy season. [Early 1600s]
3. Oppose in competition, as in This young wrestler was willing to take on all comers. [Late 1800s]
4. Display strong emotion, as in Don't take on so. [Colloquial; early 1400s]
5. Acquire as, or as if, one's own, as in He took on the look of a prosperous banker. [Late 1700s]
1. To acquire some cargo or burden: The freighter took on 1,000 tons of wheat. The bus can't take any more passengers on. We hit an iceberg, and the ship is taking on water.
2. To undertake or begin to handle something: After her husband's death, she had to take on extra responsibilities. Only a few construction companies are big enough to take the project on.
3. To hire someone; engage someone: The farms take on more workers during the harvest. We took him on as a laborer but soon promoted him to supervisor.
4. To oppose someone in competition: The unions were prepared to take on the company bosses. I can't play chess, but I'll take you on in checkers.
5. To acquire some characteristic: Over the years, he has taken on the look of a banker. The competition takes on more importance now that the title is at stake.
6. Slang To display violent or passionate emotion: Don't take on like that.