Etymology: Middle English taske, from Middle French dialect (Picardy, Flanders) tasque, from Medieval Latin tasca tax or service imposed by a feudal superior, alteration of *taxa, from taxare to tax
Date: 14th century
a. a usually assigned piece of work often to be finished within a certain time
b. something hard or unpleasant that has to be done
c. duty, function
2. subjection to adverse criticism ; reprimand — used in the expressions to take, call, or bring to task
task, duty, job, chore, stint, assignment mean a piece of work to be done. task implies work imposed by a person in authority or an employer or by circumstance <charged with a variety of tasks>. duty implies an obligation to perform or responsibility for performance <the duties of a lifeguard>. job applies to a piece of work voluntarily performed; it may sometimes suggest difficulty or importance <the job of turning the company around>. chore implies a minor routine activity necessary for maintaining a household or farm <every child was assigned chores>. stint implies a carefully allotted or measured quantity of assigned work or service <a 2-month stint as a reporter>. assignment implies a definite limited task assigned by one in authority <a reporter's assignment>. II. transitive verb Date: 14th century 1. to assign a task to <employees tasked with updating the files> 2. obsolete to impose a tax on 3. to oppress with great labor <tasks his mind with petty details>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.