tacit

adjective
tac·​it | \ ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio) \

Definition of tacit

1 : expressed or carried on without words or speech the blush was a tacit answer— Bram Stoker
2 : implied or indicated (as by an act or by silence) but not actually expressed tacit consent tacit admission of guilt

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tacit

tacitly adverb
tacitness noun

Examples of tacit in a Sentence

While they got a frosty public response, officials say the private message was a tacit green light. — Mark Thompson, Time, 16 Nov. 1998 Magic requires tacit cooperation of the audience with the magician—an abandonment of skepticism … the willing suspension of disbelief. — Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996 What a writer must always remember, however, is that with rare exceptions—Edith Wharton then, Louis Auchincloss now—he or she is never really in society; a temporary visa is issued with the tacit stipulation that it will be withdrawn and access denied if confidences are betrayed. — John Gregory Dunne, Harp, 1989 Myself, I like to play the field and see what happens, but there are certain tacit rules: do not mix freshwater fish with those from the sea; do not mix coarse fat fish with delicate ones … — M. F. K. Fisher, With Bold Knife and Fork, 1969 She felt that she had her parents' tacit approval to borrow the car. There was a tacit agreement that he would pay off the loan.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

There is a tacit tradition of interracial coupling that begins with black performers having to enter white spaces and endure, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Jack Johnson to Billie Holiday and Orson Welles. Harmonyholiday, Longreads, "Mama Looks for Melanin," 6 June 2019 The risk that Lee will continue hollowing out the World-Herald— with Buffett’s approval, tacit or otherwise — is great. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "How Warren Buffett, who says the news business is ‘toast,’ tried to kill my first paper," 4 June 2019 The Western calls for nonviolence were likely outweighed, however, by the tacit support that wealthy Gulf countries and other Arab allies have given to Sudan’s generals since the protests toppled Mr. al-Bashir. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sudan’s Military Abandons Talks and Opens Fire on Democracy Protesters," 3 June 2019 But underlying all this jockeying is a tacit understanding that, come November, Republicans may not have to elect a speaker at all. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Trump ally and super-conservative Jim Jordan is running for House speaker," 26 July 2018 Instead, there emerged a tacit understanding that the song represented a warning to those challenging the status quo, just as Woody Guthrie had felt all along. New York Times, "‘God Bless America’: 100 Years of an Immigrant’s Anthem," 2 July 2018 Still, the agreement rests on a tacit understanding between the U.S. and Emirati governments that more routes won't be added, several individuals familiar with the negotiations said. Josh Lederman, USA TODAY, "U.S., Emirates strike deal resolving contentious airline spat," 11 May 2018 The lack of public oversight of digital platforms has created a de facto public policy based on the tacit assumption that virtual space is privately owned and that personal data are corporate property. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Facebook and the very real problem of keeping student data private," 5 Apr. 2018 The sunsets and colors in the sky above Manhattan Beach floor me every time, and there’s a tacit promise there. John P. Darcy, Vogue, "The Year We Left New York," 27 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tacit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tacit

circa 1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tacit

Middle French or Latin; Middle French tacite, from Latin tacitus silent, from past participle of tacēre to be silent; akin to Old High German dagēn to be silent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tacit

Statistics for tacit

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tacit

The first known use of tacit was circa 1650

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tacit

tacit

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tacit

formal : expressed or understood without being directly stated

tacit

adjective
tac·​it | \ ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio) \

Kids Definition of tacit

: understood or made known without being put into words I have Mom's tacit approval to go to the movie.

Other Words from tacit

tacitly adverb

tacit

adjective
tac·​it | \ ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio) \

Legal Definition of tacit

1 : implied (as by an act or by silence) rather than express a tacit admission
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : arising by operation of law a tacit mortgage

Other Words from tacit

tacitly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tacit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tacit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tacit

Spanish Central: Translation of tacit

Nglish: Translation of tacit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tacit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tacit

What made you want to look up tacit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!