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


a box for fishing tackle He made two tackles in the first half.


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

In March 2018, Brown signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension with the Redskins after leading the team with 127 tackles in 2017, despite missing three games because of an injury. Paul Domowitch, https://www.inquirer.com, "Linebacker Zach Brown on difference between Eagles and Redskins: ‘This place is night and day compared to there'," 4 June 2019 Houston hasn’t taken any snaps off, has spent most of his time in the starting lineup, squaring off against starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo and attacking the football even though the Colts are not in pads. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "New Colts pass rusher Justin Houston making his presence felt," 4 June 2019 Former Miami linebackers Ray Lewis (1995) and Dan Morgan (2000) along with defensive tackle Jerome Brown (1986) earned spots on the ballot. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "Former OU QB, current UCF coach Josh Heupel on 2020 College Football Hall of Fame ballot," 3 June 2019 With Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce returning, the Ravens will not lack for productive defensive tackles this season. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens free-agent target Gerald McCoy reportedly signing with Panthers," 3 June 2019 That was followed by a big deal for free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Super Bowl of Opposites," 25 Jan. 2019 The most exciting prospect is probably Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who might wind up the No. Andy Staples, SI.com, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018 The candidates include a pair of top-10 prospects, defensive end Antonio Alfano and offensive tackle Evan Neal — along with two four-star quarterbacks with crimson bloodlines. John Zenor, The Seattle Times, "Nick Saban reloading defense with youthful Alabama team," 13 Apr. 2019 Summers earned 183 career tackles during his time in Storrs, and was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent. Christopher Hanna, courant.com, "Three Huskies Nominated For American Athletic Conference Fifth Anniversary Team," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In their view, the need to tackle soaring pension obligations and other fiscal challenges with the tax revenue a casino would generate will likely override the opportunity to transform an area of the city. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "A tough bet for Lightfoot: Where to put Chicago's casino? Possibilities range from former Reese hospital to public housing sites," 5 June 2019 The Senator has consistently put out progressive policy platforms, including a sweeping student loan debt cancellation plan, and a proposal to tackle the high rate of maternal mortality for black women. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "Juul Isn't the Only California Democratic Party Sponsor to Raise Eyebrows," 5 June 2019 The hamster was given to North West by her aunt, Khloé Kardashian, against mom Kim Kardashian West's wishes Kim Kardashian West is about to tackle another hard parenting obstacle: the death of her daughter’s beloved pet. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Kim Kardashian Isn't Sure How to Handle North's Hamster's Death: 'How Do I Go and Explain This?'," 5 June 2019 But a working paper by political scientists at Stanford University has found signs that his popularity might have helped to tackle anti-Muslim sentiment on Merseyside. The Economist, "Mo Salah’s goals help to tackle Islamophobia in Liverpool," 5 June 2019 The fire was brought under control about 3 a.m., after more than 75 firefighters arrived at the scene to tackle the blaze. Joseph A. Gambardello, https://www.inquirer.com, "Chesco apartment building fire displaces dozens of residents," 4 June 2019 His Rainforest Project, launched in 2007, has been trying to tackle tropical deforestation that scientists say contributes to climate change. NBC News, "Trump's tea with Prince Charles could get awkward over the environment," 3 June 2019 Like the president, Bonilla vowed to tackle corruption and security in Tijuana where drug violence is gripping the city. David Maung/san Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexico’s president extends power in Baja California elections," 3 June 2019 The latest to tackle this easy, breezy, on-the-go look? Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Nails Airport Style With the Most Luxurious Carry-On," 22 May 2019

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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Statistics for tackle

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tackle

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

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More Definitions for tackle



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tackle

Spanish Central: Translation of tackle

Nglish: Translation of tackle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tackle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tackle

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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