on the take

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

on the take

  1. (idiomatic) Corrupt; receiving bribes or other improper payments.
    • 1929, "National Affairs: War on Two Fronts," Time, 1 July:
      Recently after Washington officials were in Detroit, our chief told us they were sore because so many motor boats broke down and said some of the boys must be ‘on the take’ [accepting bribes].
    • 1997, Greg B. Smith, "Sting to Shaft Lift Inspectors," New York Daily News, 24 Apr:
      The investigation uncovered an agency overrun by greed, a crooked culture where bribes routinely doubled the $30,000 salaries of those on the take.
    • 2003, "Sex, bribes and publicity," The Independent (UK), 11 Aug. (retrieved 17 Nov. 2009):
      The Prime Minister suggested that, realistically, it would take at least five years to purge corruption from a police force that is 200,000 strong. About 10 per cent of the force are assumed to be on the take.