• WordNet 3.6
    • v undertake enter into a contractual arrangement
    • v undertake promise to do or accomplish "guarantee to free the prisoners"
    • v undertake enter upon an activity or enterprise
    • v undertake accept as a charge
    • v undertake accept as a challenge "I'll tackle this difficult task"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Undertakers report that human bodies do not deteriorate as quickly as they used to. The reason, they believe, is that the modern diet contains so many preservatives that these chemicals tend to prevent the body from decomposition too rapidly after death.
    • Undertake Hence, to guarantee; to promise; to affirm. "And he was not right fat, I undertake .""And those two counties I will undertake Your grace shall well and quietly enjoiy.""I dare undertake they will not lose their labor."
    • Undertake 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."
    • Undertake To assume, as a character.
    • Undertake To engage with; to attack. "It is not fit your lordship should undertake every companion that you give offense to."
    • Undertake To give a promise or guarantee; to be surety. "But on mine honor dare I undertake For good lord Titus' innocence in all."
    • Undertake To have knowledge of; to hear.
    • Undertake To take or have the charge of. "Who undertakes you to your end.""Keep well those that ye undertake ."
    • Undertake To take upon one's self, or assume, any business, duty, or province. "O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me."
    • Undertake 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."
    • Undertake To venture; to hazard. "It is the cowish terror of his spirit
      That dare not undertake ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • undertake To take on one's self; often, to take formally or expressly on one's self; lay one's self under obligations or enter into stipulations to perform or execute; pledge one's self to.
    • undertake To engage in; enter upon; take in hand; begin to perform; set about; attempt; essay.
    • undertake To warrant; answer for; guarantee; affirm: especially with a following clause.
    • undertake To take in; hear; understand; have knowledge of. To assume, as a character.
    • undertake To engage with; have to do with; attack.
    • undertake To have the charge of.
    • undertake Synonyms and Essay, Endeavor, etc. See attempt.
    • undertake To take up or assume any business, responsibility, or venture.
    • undertake To promise; be bound; warrant; answer for something; guarantee.
    • undertake Specifically To manage funerals, and arrange all the details for burying the dead.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Undertake un-dėr-tāk′ to take under one's management: to take upon one's self: to attempt: to answer for, warrant: to take in, understand: to assume, to have charge of
    • v.i Undertake to take upon one's self: to be bound: to manage all the arrangements of a burial
    • ***


  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “People are so constituted that everybody would rather undertake what they see others do, whether they have an aptitude for it or not.”
  • Evenus
    “The undertaking of a new action brings new strength.”
  • Euripides
    “Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides.”
  • Alfred North Whitehead
    “Simple solutions seldom are. It takes a very unusual mind to undertake analysis of the obvious.”
  • Orison Swett Marden
    “There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake.”
  • Lone Man
    Lone Man
    “I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Under, + take,


In literature:

Why could she not undertake this office?
"Rufus and Rose" by Horatio Alger, Jr
But the next moment he found in John, alone, about as much of a task as he cared to undertake.
"Far Past the Frontier" by James A. Braden
In two years he sold out and invested in another mercantile undertaking.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8" by Various
Beside the undertaker, Old King Brady mounted the front stoop.
"The Bradys Beyond Their Depth" by Anonymous
The Pittsburgh undertakers have contributed more to facilitate the preparation of the dead for the graves than all others besides.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
The little undertaker has something better to show than her double sausage.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
Being the youngest and most available of this small assembly, I was called on to undertake a mission not very agreeable in itself.
"Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time" by François Pierre Guillaume Guizot
The undertaker had a reputation as a wit.
"Anderson Crow, Detective" by George Barr McCutcheon
They consider it a grievance that they can no longer arbitrarily squander on fantastic undertakings what is not their own.
"British Socialism" by J. Ellis Barker
The other took it eagerly, and began to try to imitate it, but a few strokes showed her the utter impossibility of such an undertaking.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille

In poetry:

Pain or travel, to run or ride,
I undertake it pleasantly;
Bid ye me go, and straight I glide
At your commandement humbly.
"The Heart and Service" by Thomas Wyatt
Grace will complete what grace begins,
To save from sorrows or from sins
The work that wisdom undertakes
Eternal mercy ne'er forsakes.
"Psalm 138" by Isaac Watts
The Parson and the Undertaker
They hastily came complying,
And the Surgeon's Prentices ran up stairs
When they heard that their master was dying.
"The Surgeon's Warning" by Robert Southey
He was treated very well, as became a noble swell,
But we couldn't leave him loose, not in Europe anywhere,
For we knew he would be making some gigantic undertaking,
While the trustful British lion was reposing in his lair.
"After Waterloo" by Robert Fuller Murray
Answer, sombre beast and dreary,
Where is Brown, the young, the cheery,
Smith, the pride of all his friends and half the Force?
You were at that last dread dak
We must cover at a walk,
Bring them back to me, O Undertaker's Horse!
"The Undertaker's Horse.." by Rudyard Kipling
Success to the undertakers of the grand Flower Show
And to those that helped make the beautiful flowers grow
That tended them most carefully and brought them to Dundee
So that the beauties of the wise creator the people might see.
"The Dundee Flower Show:Dedicated to the Right Honourable Earl of Dalhousie" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

It's an undertaking that typically requires a tremendous amount of resources and capital.
The Fairbanks Drama Association's staging of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" was an epic undertaking.
Worcester Prep 2nd Graders Undertake 'Kids Bread Community Service Project.
As Undertaker 's music hits, Big Show laughs at Guerrero.
Undertaker makes his way to the ring.
Undertaker News Archive from SmackDown.
WWE Superstar Undertaker 's official profile, featuring bio, exclusive videos, photos, career highlights and more.
Undertaker News Archive from Hell in a Cell.
Undertaker News Archive from Raw.
Kane & Undertaker team up again: photos.
Undertaker vs Andy Roddick.
Black history ' undertaker ' loses treasures.
Japan Finds Story of Hope in Undertaker Who Offered Calm Amid Disaster.
I think undertaking a home remodel project is kind of like the best and worst of being an adult.
You have decided to make the plunge and start to technique your kitchen remodeling undertaking.

In science:

In Section 4.3 we introduce our Lyapunov functions and, in a series of lemmas, undertake the technical estimates that we need to apply our semimartingale methods.
Non-homogeneous random walks with non-integrable increments and heavy-tailed random walks on strips
In the present paper we begin with a small step in our undertaking and consider the following combination of these processes which we will call excited random walk in a random environment (ERWRE for short).
Perturbing transient Random Walk in a Random Environment with cookies of maximal strength
For instance, the study of the excitation spectrum of the supersolid phase, with particular attention to the presence of two separate modes, corresponding to the simultaneous breaking of translational and gauge symmetries, seems a worthwhile undertaking.
Supersolid phases of cold atom assemblies
Whilst not undertaking an exhaustive analysis of the flow fields in the vicinity of the contact line, we do include two situations for comparison, in Fig. 9.
Slip or not slip? A methodical examination of the interface formation model using two-dimensional droplet spreading on a horizontal planar substrate as a prototype system
In this paper we undertake a more direct statistical analysis than has been attempted hitherto in order to try to determine the distributions of the angle β between the jet axis and the normal to the galaxy disk.
An Investigation into the Geometry of Seyfert Galaxies