take (one) to task

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take (one) to task

To scold, reprimand, lecture, or hold one accountable for some wrong or error they committed. Mom took me to task over my terrible report card. You don't have to take everyone to task who misuses the word "literally," you know.
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take someone to task

to scold or reprimand someone. The teacher took John to task for his bad behavior. I lost a big contract, and the boss took me to task in front of everyone.
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take to task

Upbraid, scold; blame or censure. For example, The teacher took Doris to task for turning in such a sloppy report. This term, dating from the mid-1700s, at first meant either assigning or challenging someone to a task. Its current sense dates from the late 1800s.
See also: take, task

take someone to task

reprimand or criticize someone severely for a fault or mistake.
See also: someone, 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