take somebody to task

take (one) to task

To scold, reprimand, or lecture someone on some wrong or error they have committed. Mom took me to task over the alcohol she found in my car. You don't have to take everyone to task who misuses the word "literally," you know.
See also: take, task

take somebody to ˈtask (about/for/over something)

criticize somebody forcefully (for doing something wrong): I was taken to task for arriving late.She took the Government to task over its economic record. OPPOSITE: give somebody/yourself a pat on the back
See also: somebody, take, task
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