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task (tăsk)
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n.
1. A piece of work assigned or done as part of one's duties.
2. A difficult or tedious undertaking: Finding qualified people to fill these specialized roles was a real task.
3. A function to be performed; an objective: It is our task to renew consumer confidence.
tr.v. tasked, task·ing, tasks
1. To assign a task to or impose a task on: The agency was tasked with creating an advertising campaign.
2. Archaic To subject to strain or hardship: "The Professor's household was a modest one, and yet it tasked his ideas to keep it up to his wife's standard" (Edith Wharton).
Idiom:
take/call/bring to task
To reprimand or censure.

[Middle English taske, imposed work, tax, from Old North French tasque, from Vulgar Latin *tasca, alteration of *taxa, from Latin taxāre, to feel, reproach, reckon; see TAX.]

Synonyms: task, job1, chore, assignment
These nouns denote a piece of work that one must do. A task is a well-defined responsibility that is usually imposed by another and that may be burdensome: I stayed at work late to finish the task at hand. Job often suggests a specific short-term undertaking: "did little jobs about the house with skill" (W.H. Auden).
Chore generally denotes a minor or routine job: The farmer's morning chores included milking the cows. Assignment generally denotes a task allotted by a person in authority: His homework assignment involved writing an essay.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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