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Is it meaningful to say "we are preparing the last take at this battle" or "the third take finally brought them a victory" "I will try one more take at this"?

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It sounds like they are making a movie. Each time they repeat the same scene, it is called a "take". Eventually the director will be satisfied, and they will move on to filming another scene. Aside from that, I cannot think that "take" is a synonym for those other words. – GEdgar Mar 31 '12 at 17:48

NOAD gives these definitions for the noun:

1 a scene or sequence of sound or vision photographed or recorded continuously at one time: he completed a particularly difficult scene in two takes.
• a particular version of or approach to something: his own whimsical take on life.
2 an amount of something gained or acquired from one source or in one session: the take from commodity taxation.
• the money received at a theater, arena, etc., for seats.
3 Printing an amount of copy set up at one time or by one compositor.

If, as @GEdgar suggests in his comment, the context is film, then the preposition "at" seems a little suspect to me. I have worked in film and the preposition most often heard with take is "of" — as in "It took five takes of that scene for the actor to get the lines right." More likely one would say simply, "That scene needed five takes before the actor got his lines right."

Still, agreeing with GEdgar again, the second and third examples you cite seem probably unrelated to film. In that case, I think the use of take there sounds strange. I would prefer

The third try finally brought them victory.


I will give this one more try.

Obviously there are other ways to phrase those sentences, but these feel clearest to me.

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M-W lists five definitions for take as a noun:

Definition of TAKE (noun)

1 : something that is taken: a : the amount of money received : proceeds, receipts, income; b : share, cut (wanted a bigger take); c : the number or quantity (as of animals, fish, or pelts) taken at one time : catch, haul; d : a section or installment done as a unit or at one time; e (1) : a scene filmed or televised at one time without stopping the camera (2) : a sound recording made during a single recording period; especially : a trial recording

2 : an act or the action of taking: as a : the action of killing, capturing, or catching (as game or fish); b : (1) televising of a scene (2) : the making of a sound recording

3 a : a local or systemic reaction indicative of successful vaccination (as against smallpox); b : a successful union (as of a graft)

4 : a visible response or reaction (as to something unexpected)

5 : a distinct or personal point of view, outlook, or assessment

In the context you provide (a battle), it seems like they are using the word take in the sense of M-W's meaning #2a (the action of capturing).

This appears to be a rather rare sense of the word, though, as more than one on-line dictionary I consulted didn't list this meaning.

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