Definitions

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

  • noun The act of taking or tightening up.
  • noun A device for reducing slack or taking up lost motion, as one in a loom.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In mech.: Any device by which a flexible band, belt, rope, or tie may be tightened or shortened.
  • noun In many machines, any one of a variety of devices by which, when a part of the material is fed forward to be acted upon, that which has already been treated is wound upon a roller or otherwise “taken up.”
  • noun In a sewing-machine, a device for drawing up the slack of the thread as the needle rises.

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

  • noun (Mach.) That which takes up or tightens; specifically, a device in a sewing machine for drawing up the slack thread as the needle rises, in completing a stitch.

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

  • noun the act of taking something up, by tightening, absorption, or reeling in
  • noun machinery That which takes up or tightens; specifically, a device in a sewing machine or loom for drawing up the slack thread as the needle rises, in completing a stitch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of various devices for reducing slack (as in a sewing machine) or taking up motion (as in a loom)
  • noun the action of taking up as by tightening or absorption or reeling in
  • verb return to a previous location or condition
  • verb occupy or take on
  • verb take up a liquid or a gas either by adsorption or by absorption
  • verb accept
  • verb pursue or resume
  • verb take up and practice as one's own
  • verb take in, also metaphorically
  • verb take out or up with or as if with a scoop
  • verb take up as if with a sponge
  • verb adopt
  • verb turn one's interest to
  • verb begin work or acting in a certain capacity, office or job
  • verb take up time or space

Etymologies

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Examples

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