tacit

adjective

tac·​it ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
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
tacitly adverb
tacitness noun

Example Sentences

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now—he or she is never really in society; a temporary visa is issued with the tacit stipulation that it will be withdrawn and access denied if confidences are betrayed.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 Its players, many of whom expressed at least tacit support for the demonstrators, faced alleged pressure from regime officials as well as the anger of a segment of the Iranian diaspora that saw the team as a pawn of the regime. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2022 In Shanghai, a vigil grew into a street protest where many held blank sheets of white paper in a symbol of tacit defiance. Amy Chang Chien, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2022 In Shanghai, a vigil grew into a street protest where many held blank sheets of white paper in a symbol of tacit defiance. Amy Chang Chien, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Nov. 2022 Under questioning from defense attorney Susan Necheles, Weisselberg said his continued employment does not represent Donald Trump's tacit approval of his conduct. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2022 Arizona shares a border with Mexico, and militia groups patrol that border, sometimes with the tacit approval of authorities. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2022 There was a tacit camaraderie among the retail and food service workers at the mall. Angella Choe, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Buckingham Palace had heard about the book (Diana: Her True Story—in Her Own Words) and suspected Diana's tacit involvement via her friends, but whether she was actually confronted by Prince Philip is unknown. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2022 This helps shed light on legislators’ and voters’ tacit or even vocal support for measures that restrict voters’ access to the polls. Ziv Carmon, Fortune, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tacit was circa 1650

Dictionary Entries Near tacit

Cite this Entry

“Tacit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tacit. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

tacit

adjective

tac·​it ˈtas-ət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
1
: expressed without words or speech
2
: understood or made known (as by an act or by silence) though not actually expressed
tacit approval
tacitly adverb
tacitness noun

Legal Definition

tacit

adjective

tac·​it ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
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
tacitly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on tacit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ