American Dictionary of the English Language

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UNDERTA'KING, participle present tense Engaging in; taking in hand; beginning to perform; stipulating to execute.

UNDERTA'KING, noun Any business, work or project which a person engages in, or attempts to perform; an enterprise. The canal, or the making of the canal, from the Hudson to lake Erie, a distance of almost four hundred miles, was the greatest undertaking of the kind in modern times. The attempt to find a navigable passage to the Pacific round North America, is a hazardous undertaking and probably useless to navigation.