any of various devices for reducing slack (as in a sewing machine) or taking up motion (as in a loom)
the action of taking up as by tightening or absorption or reeling in
- The teacher took up the lesson where she left off yesterday.
- At the age of sixty he took up the study of Russian.
- The troops took up offensive positions.
- He married an English woman and took up his residence in London.
- The boatman took up the pole and shoved the boat off.
- The colonists took up weapons to rebel against the British ruler.
- They took up arms in defence of their country.
- The judge took up the gavel with solemnity.