tack·​le | \ ˈta-kəl How to pronounce tackle (audio) , nautical often ˈtā- How to pronounce tackle (audio) \

Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a set of the equipment used in a particular activity : gear fishing tackle
2a : a ship's rigging
b : an assemblage of ropes and pulleys arranged to gain mechanical advantage for hoisting and pulling
3a : the act or an instance of tackling
b(1) : either of two offensive football players positioned on each side of the center and between guard and end
(2) : either of two football players positioned on the inside of a defensive line


tackled; tackling\ ˈta-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tackling (audio) \

Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to seize, take hold of, or grapple with especially with the intention of stopping or subduing
b : to seize and throw down or stop (an opposing player with the ball) in football
2 : to set about dealing with tackle the problem
3 : to attach or secure with or as if with tackle

intransitive verb

: to tackle an opposing player in football

Illustration of tackle

Illustration of tackle


tackle 2b

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from tackle


tackler \ ˈta-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce tackler (audio) \ noun

Examples of tackle in a Sentence

Noun a box for fishing tackle He made two tackles in the first half. Verb The police officer tackled him as he tried to escape. He was tackled at the line of scrimmage. I'll tackle my homework later. We found new ways to tackle the problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wint also played in 13 games and made nine tackles, including a quarterback sack. NBC News, "Two Ohio State football players charged with rape and kidnapping, court records show," 12 Feb. 2020 In some jurisdictions and fisheries, these government entities mandate the use of some types of tackle and gear or disallow certain activities. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020 Thompson made two tackles in four preseason games with San Francisco and was ultimately left off the 53-man roster. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "XFL a 'saving grace' for La Salle grad, Seattle Dragons' Jordan Thompson," 6 Feb. 2020 Some Super Bowl champions celebrate by going to Disney World, but Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi decided to commemorate his victory in a different way. TheWeek, "February 6, 2020," 6 Feb. 2020 The 6-foot-6 offensive tackle drew the attention of college coaches across the country with a dominating display, showing the ability to stand stout in pass protection on one play and pancake an opponent on the next. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas Morning News, "SportsDay’s top recruits for 2021," 5 Feb. 2020 The Mean Green will look to rebuild around nose tackle Dion Novil, who posted 13.0 tackles for loss as a junior last season. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "Football: UNT set to hire former FAU assistant Mathies to fill out staff," 30 Jan. 2020 This should be incredibly beneficial for the Cowboys’ safeties, who struggled mightily in making sound tackles from space. John Owning, Dallas News, "Grading Mike McCarthy’s defensive staff: Jim Tomsula is just what the doctor ordered for Cowboys’ D-line," 22 Jan. 2020 Isaac Slade-Matautia started all 14 games at middle linebacker for the Ducks this season and made 62 tackles. oregonlive, "Who replaces Troy Dye at weak-side linebacker, face of Oregon’s defense in 2020?," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During his 14 months at the interior ministry, Salvini made tackling migrant boats a priority, barring ports to rescue ships and threatening the charities operating them with fines. NBC News, "Italian Senate lifts immunity of defiant Salvini over migrant boat," 13 Feb. 2020 Garrett tackled Rudolph following a short pass and both players started grabbing at each other's helmets. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "NFL reinstates Myles Garrett from indefinite suspension," 12 Feb. 2020 With the gap between rich and poor soaring to new historic highs, tackling the problem has become increasingly necessary. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, The Conversation, "How the T-Mobile-Sprint merger will increase inequality," 11 Feb. 2020 Oliver, a Fox NFL sideline reporter who is widely considered to be a trailblazer in sports media, started as a reporter covering agriculture and science before tackling football. Kelly Mccarthy, ABC News, "Famed sportscasters speak to Kobe Bryant's impact for women," 10 Feb. 2020 The department’s new rules would go further, adding definitions for domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as misconduct that universities must tackle or risk federal investigations and a loss of funding. New York Times, "New Campus Sexual Misconduct Rules Will Tackle Dating Violence," 10 Feb. 2020 Both have won consistently at every level of racing, bounding up the Road to Indy ladder series after tackling karts at eight and six years old, respectively. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Oliver Askew, Patricio O'Ward ready for battle vs. IndyCar vets: 'It's a total long play'," 7 Feb. 2020 That makes some policies better at tackling gender inequality than others OVER THE past generation women have made substantial economic gains, even as progress on other measures of social equality has been uneven. The Economist, "Economists discover the power of social norms," 6 Feb. 2020 Lopez uses multiple trainers who tackle fitness in different ways. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "The Varied Fitness Routine That Keeps J. Lo Looking So Damn Good," 6 Feb. 2020

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

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First Known Use of tackle


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for tackle


Middle English takel; akin to Middle Dutch takel ship's rigging

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Time Traveler for tackle

Time Traveler

The first known use of tackle was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tackle

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tackle. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for tackle


How to pronounce tackle (audio) How to pronounce tackle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: equipment that is used for a particular activity (especially fishing)
American football or rugby : the act of forcing the player who has the ball to fall to the ground
soccer, field hockey, etc. : the act of trying to get the ball from an opposing player



English Language Learners Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to forcefully seize (someone) and cause that person to fall to the ground
American football or rugby : to force (the player with the ball) to fall to the ground
soccer, field hockey, etc. : to try to get the ball from (an opposing player who has it)


tack·​le | \ ˈta-kəl How to pronounce tackle (audio) \
tackled; tackling

Kids Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to seize and throw (a person) to the ground
2 : to begin working on I decided to tackle the job.



Kids Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a set of special equipment fishing tackle
2 : an arrangement of ropes and wheels for hoisting or pulling something heavy
3 : an act of seizing and throwing a person to the ground
4 : a football player positioned on the line of scrimmage

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More from Merriam-Webster on tackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tackle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tackle

Spanish Central: Translation of tackle

Nglish: Translation of tackle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tackle for Arabic Speakers

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