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  • IPA(key): /ˈʌndə(ɹ)ˌteɪkə(ɹ)/, /ˌʌndə(ɹ)ˈteɪkə(ɹ)/
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undertaker (plural undertakers)

  1. A funeral director; someone whose business is to manage funerals, burials and cremations.
    Synonyms: (US) mortician, (slang) cold cook
  2. (historical) A person receiving land in Ireland during the Elizabethan era, so named because they gave an undertaking to abide by several conditions regarding marriage, to be loyal to the crown, and to use English as their spoken language.
    In 1588, Edmund Spenser became an undertaker in the first Elizabethan plantation, receiving the forfeited Irish estate of Kilcolman Castle.
  3. (historical) A contractor for the royal revenue in England, one of those who undertook to manage the House of Commons for the king in the Addled Parliament of 1614.
  4. (rare) One who undertakes or commits to doing something.
    • 1991, Parliament of the United Kingdom, “Part II, Chapter I, section 6(5)”, in Water Industry Act 1991[1], page 8:
      A company shall not be appointed to be a water undertaker unless it is a limited company or a statutory water company and shall not be appointed to be a sewerage undertaker unless it is a limited company.
    • 2001, Technology, Humans, and Society: Toward a Sustainable World:
      The undertaker of the enterprise is usually known today by the French term entrepreneur because we have surrendered the English word to the undertakers of funerals.

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