From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Task


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English taske (task, tax), from Old Northern French tasque, (compare Old French variant tasche), from Medieval Latin tasca, alteration of taxa, from Latin taxāre (censure; charge). Doublet of tax.



task (plural tasks)

  1. A piece of work done as part of one’s duties.
    The employee refused to complete the assignment, arguing that it was not one of the tasks listed in her job description.
  2. Any piece of work done.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, “Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
  3. A single action undertaken by a given agent.
  4. A difficult or tedious undertaking.
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      As the world's drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window-box and Andean hillside for banned plants. But even that Sisyphean task looks easy next to the fight against synthetic drugs. No sooner has a drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one.
  5. An objective.
  6. (computing) A process or execution of a program.
    The user killed the frozen task.
  7. (obsolete) A tax or charge.
Usage notes[edit]
  • Adjectives often applied to "task": difficult, easy, simple, hard, tough, complex, not-so-easy, challenging, complicated, tricky, formidable, arduous, laborious, onerous, small, big, huge, enormous, tremendous, gigantic, mammoth, colossal, gargantuan, social, intellectual, theological, important, basic, trivial, unpleasant, demanding, pleasant, noble, painful, grim, responsible, rewarding, boring, ungrateful, delightful, glorious, agreeable, thankless.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


task (third-person singular simple present tasks, present participle tasking, simple past and past participle tasked)

  1. (transitive) To assign a task to, or impose a task on.
    On my first day in the office, I was tasked with sorting a pile of invoices.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
      All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come / To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly, / To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride / On the curl'd clouds, to thy strong bidding task / Ariel and all his quality.
    • a. 1701 (date written), John Dryden, “The Last Parting of Hector and Andromache. From the Sixth Book of the Iliad.”, in The Miscellaneous Works of John Dryden, [], volume IV, London: [] J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, [], published 1760, →OCLC:
      There task thy maids, and exercise the loom.
    • 2021 May 19, “Network News: HS2 unearths 900 years of history in Buckinghamshire”, in RAIL, number 931, page 23:
      By 1966 the building was considered so unsafe that the Royal Engineers were tasked with demolishing it.
  2. (transitive) To oppress with severe or excessive burdens; to tax
  3. (transitive) To charge, as with a fault.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Alternative form of taisch




task c

  1. (colloquial) a dick (penis)


Declension of task 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative task tasken taskar taskarna
Genitive tasks taskens taskars taskarnas

See also[edit]