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  • IPA(key): /ˈʌndə(ɹ)ˌteɪkɪŋ/
  • (file)


undertaking (plural undertakings)

  1. The business of an undertaker, or the management of funerals.
  2. A promise or pledge; a guarantee.
    • 2023 June 22, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Hong Kong: Local laws and customs[1]:
      The Hong Kong SAR Government has given undertakings that such powers [powers to prevent people from leaving Hong Kong] will not be used and that the ability to remove people from flights will be applied only to stop certain asylum seekers from entering Hong Kong.
  3. That which is undertaken; any business, work, or project which a person engages in, or attempts to perform; an enterprise.
    • 2021 December 29, Stephen Roberts, “Stories and facts behind railway plaques: Chester (1848)”, in RAIL, number 947, page 58:
      He laid the foundation stone on August 1 1847, and then set around 2,000 workmen loose on the undertaking. The station opened exactly one year later on August 1 1848.
  4. The act of one who undertakes (in either sense).
    Antonym: overtaking (transport)




  1. present participle and gerund of undertake

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “undertaking”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)