Un·der·take v. t. [imp. Undertook p. p. Undertaken p. pr. & vb. n. Undertaking.]
1. To take upon one's self; to engage in; to enter upon; to take in hand; to begin to perform; to set about; to attempt.
To second, or oppose, or undertake
The perilous attempt. --Milton.
2. Specifically, to take upon one's self solemnly or expressly; to lay one's self under obligation, or to enter into stipulations, to perform or to execute; to covenant; to contract.
I 'll undertake to land them on our coast. --Shak.
3. Hence, to guarantee; to promise; to affirm.
And he was not right fat, I undertake. --Dryden.
And those two counties I will undertake
Your grace shall well and quietly enjoiy. --Shak.
I dare undertake they will not lose their labor. --Woodward.
4. To assume, as a character. [Obs.]
5. To engage with; to attack. [Obs.]
It is not fit your lordship should undertake every companion that you give offense to. --Shak.
6. To have knowledge of; to hear. [Obs.]
7. To take or have the charge of. [Obs.] “Who undertakes you to your end.”
Keep well those that ye undertake. --Chaucer.
Un·der·take, v. i.
1. To take upon one's self, or assume, any business, duty, or province.
O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. --Isa. xxxviii. 14.
2. To venture; to hazard. [Obs.]
It is the cowish terror of his spirit
That dare not undertake. --Shak.
3. To give a promise or guarantee; to be surety.
But on mine honor dare I undertake
For good lord Titus' innocence in all. --Shak.
v 1: enter upon an activity or enterprise [syn: set about, attempt]
2: accept as a challenge; "I'll tackle this difficult task"
[syn: tackle, take on]
3: promise to do or accomplish; "guarantee to free the
prisoners" [syn: guarantee]
4: enter into a contractual arrangement [syn: contract]
5: accept as a charge [syn: take in charge]
[also: undertook, undertaken]