A family about to undertake a journey.
- Undertake means to start something or agree to do something.
- An example of to undertake is to begin a journey.
- An example of to undertake is to sign a contract for a new job.
- To undertake is defined as to manage funerals and burials.
An example of to undertake is run a funeral home.
transitive verbundertook, undertaken, undertaking
- to take upon oneself; agree to do; enter into or upon (a task, journey, etc.)
- to give a promise or pledge that; contract: he undertook to be their guide
- to promise; guarantee
- to make oneself responsible for; take over as a charge
Origin of undertakeMiddle English undertaken: see under- and amp; take
- Archaic to take on responsibility, pledge oneself, guarantee, or be surety (for)
- ☆ Informal to work as an undertaker (sense )
verbun·der·took , un·der·tak·en, un·der·tak·ing, un·der·takes
- To deliberately begin to do (something): undertake a task.
- To pledge or commit oneself (to do something): undertake to care for an elderly relative.
- To promise or guarantee: “The man undertook that one room at least should be ready for occupation the next day” (Thomas Hardy).
verb, intransitive Archaic
(third-person singular simple present undertakes, present participle undertaking, simple past undertook, past participle undertaken)
- To take upon oneself; to start, to embark on (a specific task etc.).
- (intransitive) To commit oneself (to an obligation, activity etc.).
- He undertook to exercise more in future.
- (informal) to overtake on the wrong side.
- I hate people who try and undertake on the motorway.
- (archaic, intransitive) To pledge; to assert, assure; to dare say.
- who undertakes you to your end
- Sense: To commit oneself. This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
From Middle English undertaken, equivalent to under- +"Ž take (after undernim).