[ tak-uhl or, for 2-4, tey-kuhl ]
See synonyms for: tackletackledtackling on Thesaurus.com

  1. equipment, apparatus, or gear, especially for fishing: fishing tackle.

  2. a mechanism or apparatus, as a rope and block or a combination of ropes and blocks, for hoisting, lowering, and shifting objects or materials; purchase.

  1. any system of leverage using several pulleys.

  2. Nautical. the gear and running rigging for handling a ship or performing some task on a ship.

  3. an act of tackling, as in football; a seizing, grasping, or bringing down.

  4. Football.

    • either of the linemen stationed between a guard and an end.

    • the position played by this lineman.

  5. (formerly) tack1 (def. 8).

verb (used with object),tack·led, tack·ling.
  1. to undertake to handle, master, solve, etc.: to tackle a difficult problem.

  2. to deal with (a person) on some problem, issue, etc.

  1. to harness (a horse).

  2. Football. to seize, stop, or throw down (a ball-carrier).

  3. Soccer, Field Hockey. to block or impede the movement or progress of (an opponent having the ball) with the result of depriving the opponent of the ball.

  4. to seize suddenly, especially in order to stop.

verb (used without object),tack·led, tack·ling.
  1. Football. to tackle an opponent having the ball.

Origin of tackle

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English takel “gear, apparatus,” from Middle Low German; akin to take

Other words from tackle

  • tackler, noun
  • re·tack·le, verb (used with object), re·tack·led, re·tack·ling.

Words Nearby tackle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tackle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tackle


/ (ˈtækəl, often nautical ˈteɪkəl) /

  1. any mechanical system for lifting or pulling, esp an arrangement of ropes and pulleys designed to lift heavy weights

  2. the equipment required for a particular occupation, etc: fishing tackle

  1. nautical the halyards and other running rigging aboard a vessel

  2. slang a man's genitals

  3. sport a physical challenge to an opponent, as to prevent his progress with the ball

  4. American football a defensive lineman

  1. (tr) to undertake (a task, problem, etc)

  2. (tr) to confront (a person, esp an opponent) with a difficult proposition

  1. sport (esp in football games) to challenge (an opponent) with a tackle

Origin of tackle

C13: related to Middle Low German takel ship's rigging, Middle Dutch taken to take

Derived forms of tackle

  • tackler, noun

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