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tact

[takt]
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noun
  1. a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.
  2. a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful, or aesthetically pleasing; taste; discrimination.
  3. touch or the sense of touch.
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Origin of tact

1150–1200; < Latin tāctus sense of touch, equivalent to tag-, variant stem of tangere to touch + -tus suffix of v. action
Can be confusedtack tact track tracttacks tax

Synonyms

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1. perception, sensitivity; diplomacy, poise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tacts'

tact

noun
  1. a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others, so as to avoid giving offence or to win good will; discretion
  2. skill or judgment in handling difficult or delicate situations; diplomacy
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Derived Formstactful, adjectivetactfully, adverbtactfulness, nountactless, adjectivetactlessly, adverbtactlessness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tactus a touching, from tangere to touch
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 tacts'

tact

n.

1650s, "sense of touch or feeling" (with an isolated instance from c.1200), from Latin tactus "touch, feeling, handling, sense of touch," from root of tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Meaning "sense of "discernment, diplomacy, etc." first recorded 1804, from a sense that developed in French cognate tact.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper