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  1. understood without being openly expressed; implied: tacit approval.
  2. silent; saying nothing: a tacit partner.
  3. unvoiced or unspoken: a tacit prayer.
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Origin of tacit

1595–1605; < Latin tacitus silent, past participle of tacēre to be silent (cognate with Gothic thahan; akin to Old Norse thegja)
Related formstac·it·ly, adverbtac·it·ness, noun


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1. expressed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tacit

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We had by tacit consent begun to walk down the path toward the road.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • A far-spreading, tacit complicity had hitherto saved him from the police.

  • Now you know this phrase is a tacit confession that all that has been said before is false.

  • Her father, by a hundred tacit signs, rejected her affection.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Her reliance on his secrecy, and his tacit acquiescence, increased his distress of mind.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for tacit


  1. implied or inferred without direct expression; understooda tacit agreement
  2. created or having effect by operation of law, rather than by being directly expressed
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Derived Formstacitly, adverbtacitness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tacitus, past participle of tacēre to be silent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tacit


c.1600, from French tacite, from Latin tacitus "that is passed over in silence, done without words, assumed, silent," prop. past participle of tacere "to be silent," from PIE root *tak- "to be silent" (cf. Gothic þahan, Old Norse þegja "to be silent," Old Norse þagna "to grow dumb," Old Saxon thagian, Old High German dagen "to be silent"). The musical instruction tacet is the 3rd person present singular of the Latin verb.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper