take to task

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  • (file)


take to task (third-person singular simple present takes to task, present participle taking to task, simple past took to task, past participle taken to task)

  1. (idiomatic) To lecture, berate, admonish, or hold somebody accountable for his or her actions.
    • 1909, John Kendrick Bangs, chapter 3, in The Autobiography of Methuselah:
      [W]hen any of his descendants chose to take him to task for the crudeness of his manners he was accustomed to look them coldly over and retort that things had come to a pretty pass when comparatively new people ventured to instruct the oldest of the old settlers as to what was or was not good form.
    • 1948 January and February, “Memoirs of Archibald Sturrock”, in Railway Magazine, page 47:
      A dozen similar, but smaller footwarmers were made at Doncaster, without official sanction, and placed in the coaches of a train conveying some of the directors to London. Sturrock was taken to task by the chairman for having incurred this unauthorised expenditure, but before he left the meeting, the directors had ordered 200 footwarmers for public use.
    • 1963 July, “News and Comment: Dr. Beeching's overstatement”, in Modern Railways, page 3:
      In a closely reasoned article in The Guardian, Mr. D. L. Munby, Oxford University's Reader in the Economics and Organisation of Transport, has taken Dr. Beeching to task for overstating his case for withdrawing stopping train services as money-losers.



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