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an uphill task
A task that is very daunting from the outset and continues to be challenging. The incumbent is so popular that defeating her will be an uphill task. I'm terrible at math, so I have a real uphill task ahead of me if I want to improve my grade in Algebra.
be taken to task (by someone)
To be scolded, rebuked, reprimanded, or held accountable (by someone). I was taken to task by the headmaster for disrupting class again. It's not entirely fair that the bankers are the only ones being taken to task for the economic collapse, when a great many politicians are to blame as well.
bring (someone) to task
To scold, reprimand, or lecture someone on some wrong or error they have committed. Mom brought me to task over the alcohol she found in my car. You don't have to bring everyone to task who misuses the word "literally," you know.
come to the task with (something)
To provide or offer a useful skill or attribute to some task, activity, project, etc. Don't worry, he comes to the task with years of experience.
equal to the task
Having the necessary ability, talent, qualities, or capability to handle or accomplish a given role or situation. The young soldier proved equal to the task and saved his platoon from an enemy ambush. We need a manager who can lead project initiatives and efficiently direct employees—do you think you're equal to the task?
get taken to task (by someone)
To be scolded, rebuked, reprimanded, or criticized (by someone). I got taken to task by the headmaster for disrupting class again. It's not entirely fair that the bankers are the only ones getting taken to task for the economic collapse, when a great many politicians are to blame as well.
Focused on and committed to a given task. We've got to stay on task if we want to finish the project before the deadline. I really wish you would stay on task and stop getting sidetracked.
Shifting one's attention between tasks that are not related to the same overall goal. The phrase is commonly used in the context of work and productivity and is also known as "task switching." In multitasking, the various tasks all contribute to the same goal—in switch tasking, the various tasks are unrelated.
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.
task (one) with (something)
To assign one the responsibility of completing some task. Often used in passive constructions. The boss tasked me with scanning all the documents so that we have a digital copy of each one. The committee was tasked with determining whether there was any criminal negligence involved.
See also: task
Shifting one's attention between tasks that are not related to the same overall goal. The phrase is commonly used in the context of work and productivity and is also known as "switch tasking." In multitasking, the various tasks all contribute to the same goal—in task switching, the various tasks are unrelated.
come to the job with somethingand come to the position with something; come to the task with something
to bring a particular quality to a task or job. She comes to the job with great enthusiasm. Ann comes to this position with a lot of experience.
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.
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.
take someone to taskreprimand or criticize someone severely for a fault or mistake.
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
an uphill ˈstruggle/ˈbattle/ˈtasksomething that is difficult and takes a lot of effort over a long period of time: After the recent scandal, he faces an uphill struggle to win back public support before the next election.
To give someone or something some task: The president tasked the committee with investigating the accident. The accounting group was tasked with the responsibility of producing a budget report.
See also: task
mod. paying attention to the job at hand. I find it hard to stay on task with all those babes going by.
take to task, to
To reprimand; to blame or censure. This term was used from the mid-eighteenth century to mean either assigning or challenging someone to a task. In its present meaning it has been current only since the late nineteenth century. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used it in Captain Polestar (1890): “My employer took me severely to task.” It sounds a bit stilted now and may be dying out.
See also: take