1rare A person who takes another into his or her protection or patronage; a patron, a guardian. Frequently with reference to God or Christ.
2A member of a gang of swindlers, whose role is to feign friendship with the victim. historical in later use.
3A person who or thing which takes something or someone up.
4North American historical, rare (US in later use). A person who takes possession of unoccupied land.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Primer. From taker + up, after to take up.