- a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.
- a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful, or aesthetically pleasing; taste; discrimination.
- touch or the sense of touch.
Origin of tact
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tact
He was no teacher, and he lacked the tact required in getting along with his classes.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
The result has all the passion, tact, and nuance of a street-corner preacher.Atheist Philosopher Peter Boghossian’s Guide to Converting Believers
November 2, 2013
The 27-year-old will need to display a level of tact and diplomacy with which he has not previously ever been associated.Can Harry Shed the Playboy Prince Tag?
March 2, 2012
The tapering of certain letters indicates the laudable trait of tact.For Presidential Hopefuls, the Handwriting Says It All
January 11, 2012
On the very first episode of that venerable program, Jock Ewing gave his son, J.R., a tart-tongued lesson about tact and subtlety.Rick Santorum Needs a Miracle
June 7, 2011
But there he had the tact to remain in the car, and Mrs. McKee's peace with Tillie was made alone.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"Oh, I guess it wouldn't hurt them," said Yates, with a lack of tact that was not habitual.In the Midst of Alarms
In the strength of that conviction he committed a fault of tact.The Secret Agent
Pete considered that he was behaving with great discernment and tact.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
He was agreeable, too agreeable; he certainly had not bad manners, but he was deficient in tact.My Double Life
- a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others, so as to avoid giving offence or to win good will; discretion
- skill or judgment in handling difficult or delicate situations; diplomacy
Word Origin and History for tact
1650s, "sense of touch or feeling" (with an isolated instance from c.1200), from Latin tactus "touch, feeling, handling, sense of touch," from root of tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Meaning "sense of "discernment, diplomacy, etc." first recorded 1804, from a sense that developed in French cognate tact.