a tack with a large, flat head, designed to be thrust into a board or other fairly soft object or surface by the pressure of the thumb.

verb (used with object)

to attach or tack by means of a thumbtack.

Origin of thumbtack

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; thumb + tack1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for thumbtack

point, nail, staple, pushpin, brad, thumbtack, fastener, tack

Examples from the Web for thumbtack

Historical Examples of thumbtack

British Dictionary definitions for thumbtack



mainly US and Canadian a short tack with a broad smooth head for fastening papers to a drawing board, etcAlso called (esp in Britain): drawing pin
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 thumbtack

tack with a broad, flat head which may be driven by pressure from the thumb, 1884, from thumb (n.) + tack (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper