take to task


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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 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.
See also: take, task

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