a short, sharp-pointed nail, usually with a flat, broad head.
a rope for extending the lower forward corner of a course.
the lower forward corner of a course or fore-and-aft sail.
the heading of a sailing vessel, when sailing close-hauled, with reference to the wind direction.
a course run obliquely against the wind.
one of the series of straight runs that make up the zigzag course of a ship proceeding to windward.
a course of action or conduct, especially one differing from some preceding or other course.
one of the movements of a zigzag course on land.
a stitch, especially a long stitch used in fastening seams, preparatory to a more thorough sewing.
a fastening, especially of a temporary kind.
stickiness, as of nearly dry paint or glue or of a printing ink or gummed tape; adhesiveness.
the gear used in equipping a horse, including saddle, bridle, martingale, etc.
to fasten by a tack or tacks: to tack a rug to the floor.
to secure by some slight or temporary fastening.
to change the course of a sailing vessel by bringing the head into the wind and then causing it to fall off on the other side: He ordered us to tack at once.
(of a sailing vessel) to change course in this way.
to proceed to windward by a series of courses as close to the wind as the vessel will sail.
to take or follow a zigzag course or route.
to change one's course of action, conduct, ideas, etc.
to equip a horse with tack (usually followed by up): Please tack up quickly.
Idioms about tack
- tacker, noun
- tackless, adjective
Other definitions for tack (3 of 3)
a lease, especially on farmland.
a rented pasture.
a catch, haul, or take of fish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tack in a sentence
A consistent tack for President Trump as he defends his handling of the novel coronavirus and race relations — two issues that are dragging down his reelection chances — is to dodge acknowledging how bad either of them are.Trump keeps dodging the crux of major issues — and that’s showing in his reelection prospects | Amber Phillips | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
But, under a new administration, the government has changed tack.Uber and Bolt are set to face expensive ride-hailing regulation in Africa’s largest city | Yomi Kazeem | August 11, 2020 | Quartz
It’s not ideal that Republicans are taking this tack, as the right to vote is so important.Five Ways Trump And GOP Officials Are Undermining The Election Process | Perry Bacon Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org) | August 11, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Now Johnson is on a mission to teach the next generation of teachers how to take a new tack.
In the weeks after coronavirus clamped the country in a vise of social distancing regulations, many ad sellers tried new tacks to keep their clients engaged.‘This is a relationship business’: The in-person client meeting is beginning to make a comeback among publishers | Max Willens | July 13, 2020 | Digiday
Pulling oil from the tar sands is costly, even more so when you tack transportation costs on top.
Anytime we have to put up the sail or tack or do any maneuvering, it requires all hands on deck.
Around 3am, my spindly legs are beginning to ache from balancing on deck, as we heel with each tack.
This second tack, the one that has worked for Hughes, is probably the most viable for Lewinsky, he thinks.Donna Rice: ‘My Heart Really Goes Out to Monica Lewinsky’ | Keli Goff | May 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
At the moment, he seems to be taking a different tack altogether.Is This the End of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Comeback? | Andrew Romano | March 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The stratagem worked, because the ships went about from one tack to the other without being seen by the Dutch.
Whereas Lessard had acted the martinet with MacRae, he took another tack and became the very essence of affability toward me.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
The wind being unfavourable, we were obliged, during the night, to tack in the neighbourhood of Dover.A Woman's Journey Round the World | Ida Pfeiffer
It was evidently useless to try to get anything more out of the child on that tack.The Girls of Central High on the Stage | Gertrude W. Morrison
They stood out till they had one and all declared that they could clear it on the next tack; they were all ready to go about.The Rival Campers | Ruel Perley Smith
British Dictionary definitions for tack (1 of 4)
a short sharp-pointed nail, usually with a flat and comparatively large head
British a long loose temporary stitch used in dressmaking, etc
a temporary fastening
stickiness, as of newly applied paint, varnish, etc
nautical the heading of a vessel sailing to windward, stated in terms of the side of the sail against which the wind is pressing
a course sailed by a sailing vessel with the wind blowing from forward of the beam
one such course or a zigzag pattern of such courses
a sheet for controlling the weather clew of a course
the weather clew itself
nautical the forward lower clew of a fore-and-aft sail
a course of action differing from some previous course: he went off on a fresh tack
on the wrong tack under a false impression
(tr) to secure by a tack or series of tacks
British to sew (something) with long loose temporary stitches
(tr) to attach or append: tack this letter onto the other papers
nautical to change the heading of (a sailing vessel) to the opposite tack
nautical to steer (a sailing vessel) on alternate tacks
(intr) nautical (of a sailing vessel) to proceed on a different tack or to alternate tacks
(intr) to follow a zigzag route; keep changing one's course of action
- tackless, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for tack (2 of 4)
informal food, esp when regarded as inferior or distasteful: See also hardtack
British Dictionary definitions for tack (3 of 4)
riding harness for horses, such as saddles, bridles, etc
(as modifier): the tack room
British Dictionary definitions for tack (4 of 4)
an area of land held on a lease
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with tack
see get down to brass tacks; on the right tack; sharp as a tack.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.