took on


      • to assume responsibility or a challenge
        To accept or undertake a task, duty, or responsibility

      • to confront or engage with someone or something
        To engage in a battle, argument, or competition with someone or something

    Examples of took on

    • The project initially seemed too complicated for Jane, but she took it on with confidence and was able to successfully complete it.

      In this example, "took it on" means Jane accepted the challenging project and agreed to handle it.

    • The team's new coach took on a demanding style, which at first seemed harsh, but ultimately helped the players improve their skills and win more games.

      In this example, "took on" refers to the coach adopting a demanding attitude or approach in coaching the team.

    • The company is currently dealing with a major crisis, and the CEO has taken it on with a proactive and decisive response.

      Here, "has taken it on" implies that the CEO has taken charge of the crisis in a decisive and decisive way.

    • After Sam retired from his job, he took on several volunteer positions in his community, using his skills and experience to make a difference.

      In this example, "took on" means Sam started volunteering for various tasks after retiring from his job, using his expertise and resources to contribute something worthwhile to the community.

    • The project took on a life of its own.

      This idiom means that the project became much larger or more complex than originally anticipated. As the project progressed, it seemed to take on a new energy and a life of its own.

    • Sarah took on the role of team captain with confidence.

      This idiom signifies that Sarah assumed the position of team captain with determination and assurance. She was proud to take on this leadership role and devoted herself to guiding and motivating her team.

    • Jason decided to take on two jobs simultaneously.

      This idiom represents Jason's decision to take on the responsibilities of two different jobs concurrently. By doing so, he accepted a significant challenge and was prepared to handle the added workload and demands.

    • The newly appointed manager took on a confrontational approach with her staff.

      This idiom describes the manager's decision to tackle her new position in an assertive and challenging manner. By adopting a confrontational approach, she aimed to set boundaries, address issues head-on, and establish her authority over her team.


    The idiom "took on" can be used in various contexts to indicate assuming responsibility or confronting a challenge. It is commonly used in both personal and professional settings to describe accepting a task or engaging in a confrontation.

    Origin of "took on"

    The origin of the idiom "took on" can be traced back to the early 17th century, derived from the verb "take" and the preposition "on." The phrase originally meant to physically pick up or lift something, which later evolved to encompass the idea of assuming responsibility or engaging in a challenge. Over time, "took on" became figurative and is now widely used in everyday language to express the act of accepting or confronting something. The idiom has become an integral part of the English language, conveying the idea of taking on tasks or challenges with determination and readiness. Examples of this idiom can be found in literature, speeches, and everyday conversations.