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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Undertake


UNDERTA'KE, verb transitive preterit tense undertook; participle passive undertaken. [under and take.]

1. To engage in; to enter upon; to take in hand; to begin to perform. When I undertook this work, I had a very inadequate knowledge of the extent of my labors.

2. To covenant or contract to perform or execute. A man undertakes to erect a house, or to make a mile of canal, when he enters into stipulations for that purpose.

3. To attempt; as when a man undertakes what he cannot perform.

4. To assume a character. [Not in use.]

5. To engage with; to attack.

Your lordship should not undertake every companion you offend. [Not in use.]

6. To have the charge of.

- Who undertakes you to your end. [Not in use.]

UNDERTA'KE, verb intransitive

1. To take upon or assume any business or province.

O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. Isaiah 38:14.

2. To venture; to hazard. They dare not undertake

3. To promise; to be bound.

I dare undertake they will not lose their labor.

To undertake for, to be bound; to become surety for.