Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To cause (oneself) to go or move.
  • transitive verb Archaic To commit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as beteach.
  • To seize; take hold of; take.
  • Reflexively, to take one's self (to); repair; resort; have recourse.
  • To take one's self.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To take or seize.
  • transitive verb To have recourse to; to apply; to resort; to go; -- with a reflexive pronoun.
  • transitive verb obsolete To commend or intrust to; to commit to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To beteach.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To take over to; take across (to); deliver.
  • verb transitive, archaic To commend or entrust to; to commit to.
  • verb intransitive, archaic To take oneself.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bitaken : bi-, be- + taken, to take; see take.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English betaken, bitaken, in form equivalent to be- +‎ take, however, in sense from betæcen, betechen ("to beteach"). More at beteach.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From be- +‎ take. Cognate with Danish betage ("to take, deprive, cut off"), Swedish betaka ("to take, deprive, cut off").

Examples

  • If you endeavor to approach these bird in their haunts, they betake themselves to flight.

    The Memory Palace

  • If you endeavor to approach these bird in their haunts, they betake themselves to flight.

    The Memory Palace

  • As he had no passport, he was arrested after a few days, told to betake himself to another country and released.

    Autumn

  • I betake myself to Allah for refuge from the accursed Satan.

    A Kettle of Vultures

  • Note 51: The custom of all the gentlemen of the house was to betake themselves straightway after supper to my lady Duchess; where, among the other pleasant pastimes and music and dancing that continually were practised, sometimes neat questions were proposed, sometimes ingenious games were devised at the choice of one or another, in which under various disguises the company disclosed their thoughts figuratively to whom they liked best.

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • I betake myself to Allah for refuge from the accursed Satan.

    A Kettle of Vultures

  • Turning away from childish games, she used to hide herself in retired chambers, that she might give herself up more completely to prayer; and by constantly reading the deeds of holy men, she was so inflamed with the desire of a more austere life, that she even laid a plan with her brother to run away from their father's house and to betake themselves to a desert place.

    29 December -- St Thomas of Canterbury

  • It is a sign of our times, conspicuous to the coarsest observer, that many intelligent and religious persons withdraw themselves from the common labors and competitions of the market and the caucus, and betake themselves to a certain solitary and critical way of living, from which no solid fruit has yet appeared to justify their separation.

    Richard Geldard: In This Other America

  • I betake myself to Allah for refuge from the accursed Satan.

    A Kettle of Vultures

  • On the arrival of spring they betake themselves to Antarctica, where they have their regular rookeries in places where there is bare ground.

    The South Pole~ The Eastern Sledge Journey

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