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. 2024
How to use tack in a sentence
Is 2014 going to be the year that Barack Obama tacks—and stays—left?
And although the GOP-led House was not likely to pass legislation to close the camp, there were other tacks Smith could pursue.Congress Cooperates, Obama Pushes Hard, and Closing Gitmo Has a Chance | Daniel Klaidman | December 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Assuming Fisher wins, the court could take two possible tacks that would fall short of overruling Grutter.
If you fasten it with stout tacks, it will be strong enough, and there will be no danger of splitting the wood of the ends.Harper's Young People, November 30, 1880 | Various
The shape can be varied by using tacks having different-sized heads.
A good heel or toe plate can be made by driving ordinary thumb tacks into the leather of the shoe heel or sole.
Ordinary small staples make good substitutes for glaziers' tacks.
An indecisive action took place, the two fleets passing each other on opposite tacks and exchanging broadsides.The Political History of England - Vol. X. | William Hunt
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.