[ tak-tiks ]
See synonyms for tactics on Thesaurus.com
  1. (usually used with a singular verb) the art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.

  2. (used with a plural verb) the maneuvers themselves.

  1. (used with a singular verb) any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success.

  2. (usually used with a singular verb)Linguistics.

    • the patterns in which the elements of a given level or stratum in a language may combine to form larger constructions.

    • the study and description of such patterns.

Origin of tactics

First recorded in 1620–30; see origin at tactic, -ics

synonym study For tactics

1. See strategy.

Other words from tactics

  • coun·ter·tac·tics, noun

Words that may be confused with tactics

Words Nearby tactics

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

How to use tactics in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tactics


/ (ˈtæktɪks) /

pl n
  1. (functioning as singular) military the art and science of the detailed direction and control of movement or manoeuvre of forces in battle to achieve an aim or task

  2. the manoeuvres used or plans followed to achieve a particular short-term aim

Origin of tactics

C17: from New Latin tactica, from Greek ta taktika the matters of arrangement, neuter plural of taktikos concerning arrangement or order, from taktos arranged (for battle), from tassein to arrange

Derived forms of tactics

  • tactician, 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