Definition of task noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tɑːsk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæsk//
    Pay and conditions at work
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  1. 1  a piece of work that somebody has to do, especially a hard or unpleasant one to perform/carry out/complete/undertake a task a daunting/an impossible/a formidable/an unenviable, etc. task a thankless task (= an unpleasant one that nobody wants to do and nobody thanks you for doing) Our first task is to set up a communications system. Detectives are now faced with the task of identifying the body. Getting hold of this information was no easy task (= was difficult). It was my task to wake everyone up in the morning. Synonymstaskduties mission job choreThese are all words for a piece of work that somebody has to do.task a piece of work that somebody has to do, especially a difficult or unpleasant one:Our first task will be to set up a communications system.duties tasks that are part of your job:Your duties will include setting up a new computer system.mission an important official job that a person or group of people is given to do, especially when they are sent to another country:They undertook a fact-finding mission in the region.job a piece of work that somebody has to do:I’ve got various jobs around the house to do.task or job?A task may be more difficult than a job and require you to think carefully about how you are going to do it. A job may be something small that is one of several jobs that you have to do, especially in the home; or a job can be something that takes a long time and is boring and/​or needs a lot of patience.chore a task that you have to do regularly, especially one that you do in the home and find unpleasant or boring:household choresPatterns the task/​mission/​job/​chore of (doing) something (a) daily/​day-to-day task/​duties/​job/​chore (a) routine task/​duties/​mission/​job/​chore (a/​an) easy/​difficult task/​mission/​job (a) household/​domestic task/​duties/​job/​chore to do a task/​a job/​the chores to finish a task/​a mission/​a job/​the chores to give somebody a task/​their duties/​a mission/​a job/​a chore See related entries: Pay and conditions at work
  2. 2an activity which is designed to help achieve a particular learning goal, especially in language teaching task-based learning
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from an Old Northern French variant of Old French tasche, from medieval Latin tasca, alteration of taxa, from Latin taxare ‘censure, charge’, perhaps from Greek tassein ‘fix’. An early sense of the verb was ‘impose a tax on’.Extra examples How do you tackle a task like that? I left her to get on with the task of correcting the errors. I was engaged in the delicate task of clipping the dog’s claws. Nobody was keen to take on such a thankless task. She failed to complete the task that she had been set. She was charged with the important task of telling the children. The primary task of the chair is to ensure the meeting runs smoothly. The task requires a variety of skills and experience. The team have no illusions about the size of the task confronting them. The unenviable task of telling my parents fell to my teacher. Translating the letter was no easy task. We need to think realistically about the task ahead. We should stop chatting and get back to the task in hand. a hard task for the committee one of the first tasks in language learning the grim task of identifying the dead the simple task of making a sandwich Getting hold of the information was no easy task. How exactly do you intend to approach this task? No one was willing to undertake the task. Our first task will be to set up a communications system. She had the unenviable task of talking to the missing girl’s parents. The task eventually fell to me. You should pay attention to the task in hand. You’ll be required to do several routine tasks in the office.Idioms
    take somebody to task (for/over something)
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    to criticize somebody strongly for something they have done The local newspaper has been taking the city council to task over its transport policy.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: task

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