TAKE IN – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb TAKE IN has the following meanings:


1. Take in = to view your surroundings and absorb it

(transitive) When you are amazed or in awe of something and want to take a moment to absorb it. Synonyms include to observe and digest.

  • I was so excited to be in Paris; I just sat down in a café to take it all in.
  • Everything about university was new and exciting; it took a few weeks to take it all in.
  • I want to sit here a minute and take in the view.

2. Take in = to give shelter

(transitive) To give a person or an animal shelter. When you allow someone to stay in your home, often when they have no other place to go. Synonyms are house and board, to accommodate someone.

  • Canada has taken in 10,000 refugees this year.
  • I took in a stray dog last week.
  • Can you take in any more international students when they visit next month?

3. Take in = to deceive someone

(transitive) To make someone believe something that is not true

  • Those con artists took in a lot of people.
  • He took me in completely with his sad story.
  • Don’t be taken in by his charms. He isn’t actually a nice person.

4. Take in = to reduce the size of a garment

(transitive) To reduce the size of a piece of clothing so that it fits better. To make a garment narrower, tighter or shorter.

  • After her diet, her dress needed to be taken in.
  • These pants are a little loose, I think I might need to take them in.
  • The wedding dress needed to be taken in around the waist to make it look perfect.

5. Take in = to understand and absorb information

(transitive) To understand and absorb the information that you see or read.

  • There was so much information that it was hard to take it all in.
  • I had been staring at the page for 5 minutes but hadn’t taken anything in.
  • I could hardly take in everything she said.
  • The news is a lot to take in right now.

Take in – Summary Chart

TAKE IN - Meanings and examples of this English Phrasal Verb

Lesson tags: In, Phrasal Verbs, Take
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