to take in something

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Lighe

Senior Member
ITALIAN
Hi friends!
That's the sentence:
"He can take in this daily paradox of joy and destruction if he wishes.But he prefers to gaze farther out, at the unspooling carpet of tranquillity that is the Indian Ocean."
It's an abstract of an article about "Somalia" from "National Geographic".

My doubt is about :

1) "Take in";what could it mean in this context? Perhaps "to understand" or "to bear" or "to deceive"?

Just a your support .

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
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  • "He can observe this daily paradox of joy and destruction if he wishes. But he prefers to gaze farther out, at the unspooling carpet of tranquillity that is the Indian Ocean."

    The use of "take in" in this case means "to observe or notice." "To experience" would also be a good definition here. Just as one takes in air through the nose in order to breathe, one takes in a view with the eyes in order to observe or experience it.
     
    I agree with Jared82CA, though I think "take in" is slightly more active in connotation than simple "observe", so I like his "experience". I've also seen "drink in" used similarly, which is even more active, possibly a little lower down on the formality scale, and probably not quite as fitting in this particular context. "Behold" might be a possibility.
     
    Funny you should mention that about observe, PaulRobert...
    "to observe" was the first definition given in my dictionary for "take in." I agree that it should be a bit stronger.
    "behold" is still standard (though it may be archaic before too long), and after "an interjection,"
    guess what the dictionary gave as the first definition..."to observe." I laughed out loud and had to write you back.
     
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