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) To spend time looking at something, commonly scenery or surroundings. Synonyms include to observe and digest.

  • When I am in a new city, I like to sit in a café and take it all in. Yes, I obverse the local people and what they are doing.
  • You could see his eyes quickly moving from side to side as he took in as much as he could of his surroundings.
  • 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.

  • took in a stray dog last week.
    (It was a street dog and I decided to take care of it at our house)
  • New Zealand has taken in hundreds of refugees this year.
    (The refugees had nowhere else to go)
  • Can you take in any international students when they visit us next month?
    (I am asking if you can allow any students to stay at their house)

3. Take in = to deceive someone

(transitive) To make someone believe something that is not true. The person will usually try to gain your trust in order to deceive you.

  • Those con artists took in a lot of people.
    (Did you know con artist is a short way of saying confidence artist … they try to win your confidence or trust in order to deceive you)
  • He took me in completely with his sad story.
    (Yes, he deceived me with his fake story.)
  • Don’t be taken in by his charm. He isn’t a nice person.
    (Yes, he appears to be nice though in reality he isn’t.)
  • Many people were taken in by the false promises made by the politicians during their electoral campaigns.

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 (which is a piece of clothing) 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 had 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. To pay attention to something so you understand it.

  • There was so much information that it was hard to take it all in.
  • I had been staring at the page for five minutes but hadn’t taken anything in.
  • I could hardly take in everything she said.
  • That surprising 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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