take up

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See also: takeup and take-up


Alternative forms[edit]


take up (countable and uncountable, plural take ups)

  1. Alternative form of take-up
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%.


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

  1. (transitive) To pick up.
    • 1600, The Bible (Authorised Version), Mark 2:11:
      I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
    The reel automatically took up the slack.
  2. (transitive) To begin doing (an activity) on a regular basis.
    I've taken up knitting.
    I wish to take up mathematics.
    • 2004, Jane Powell, Linda Svendsen, Bungalow: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home, page 44:
      Each of the things he took up, he took up with passion and intensity
  3. (transitive) To address (an issue).
    Let's take this up with the manager.
  4. (transitive) To occupy; to consume (space or time).
    The books on finance take up three shelves.
    All my time is taken up with looking after the kids.
  5. (transitive, sewing) To shorten by hemming.
    If we take up the sleeves a bit, that shirt will look much better on you.
  6. (transitive, dated) To remove the surface or bed of a road.
    • 1876, Supreme Court of Iowa, June Term 1876 court record, “The Davenport Central Railway Co. v. The Davenport Gas Light Co., Appeal from Scott Circuit Court”, published in The American Railway Reports, Volume 14:
      It is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that a temporary writ of injunction issue, enjoining said defendant and all persons acting under or for it, from in any manner taking up, disturbing or interfering with the road-bed and track of said plaintiff so as to prevent the passage of cars thereon
    • 1915, Edward Plunkett, Lord Dunsany, Fifty-One Tales:
      They had pickaxes in their hands and wore corduroy trousers and that little leather band below the knee that goes by the astonishing name of “York-to-London.” They seemed to be working with peculiar vehemence, so that I stopped and asked one what they were doing. “We are taking up Picadilly,” he said to me.
  7. (transitive, with on) To accept (a proposal, offer, request, etc.) from.
    Shall we take them up on their offer to help us move?
  8. (intransitive) To resume.
    let's take up where we left off
  9. To implement, to employ, to put into use.
    • 2008, BBC News, Iolo ap Dafydd Wood homes 'solution' to shortage
      "So I'd imagine if they were to take up this system, or a similar system, we should be able to build quicker."

Derived terms[edit]


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