tack·le | \ˈta-kəl, naut often ˈtā- \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tackle


tackler \ˈta-k(ə-)lər \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And helping both our tackles, but primarily over on the left side. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Doug Pederson calls Eagles' win over 49ers 'pretty impressive'," 6 July 2018 Thanks to this rule, a team facing injuries among its defensive tackles could add a freshman into the rotation for the season’s final two or three games. Andy Staples, SI.com, "New Redshirt Rule Adds Intriguing Potential Twist to Alabama's QB Competition," 3 July 2018 His bike is black, has ape hanger bars, green pedals and a milk crate attached to the back that carries his tackle box and rods. John Peabody, New York Times, "A Growing Brooklyn Fishing Scene, Artisanal Lures Included," 28 June 2018 His hard tackles from behind, however, earned him a yellow card. Graham Dunbar, Houston Chronicle, "Ronaldo becomes Europe's top international scorer after leading Portugal over Morocco," 20 June 2018 In short, Michigan lost its best defensive tackle last season in Hurst but should be better overall in 2018. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's defensive line may be outstanding with Rashan Gary as star," 10 June 2018 Robbins, who had 11 sacks among his 58 tackles as a junior, had scholarship offers from almost half the Big Ten programs. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel defensive end commits to IU football," 1 June 2018 The Cowboys have been without their top two three-technique tackles in OTAs. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "5 things we learned from Dallas Cowboys OTAs," 30 May 2018 Is the coaching staff or Pace expecting him to compete for at least a backup guard or right tackle role? Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Bears Q&A: How does offense stack up to '17 Chiefs? What position battles loom on offensive line?," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Officers later went on to arrest the real attacker after a woman accompanying the professor was able to explain that the 50-year-old they had tackled and punched in the face was actually the victim. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "A Baltimore professor was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack and then German police punched him," 13 July 2018 Some lawmakers expect the issue to be tackled if the House considers legislation aimed at overhauling a guest-worker visa program, potentially later this month, to help ease shortages in the agriculture, construction and service industries. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Republicans Hesitant to Cross Trump on Trade," 9 July 2018 When police began to search him, Adams-Mabin tried to escape and was tackled by officers, the publication reported. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "He woke to find a stranger in his home. The man offered to sell him cocaine, cops say," 5 July 2018 The first season of the show, which debuted May 23, features 20 mini-documentaries about topics such as monogamy, cryptocurrency and the racial wealth gap — topics that are too big to be tackled in a three-minute YouTube video. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Vox Editor at Large Ezra Klein on Recode Media," 14 June 2018 Trauma creates multifaceted problems on many fronts that can only be tackled with a broad phalanx of social and clinical work — one individual at a time. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette trying to form massive coalition in effort to treat community's trauma," 7 June 2018 He was tackled by Indians' first baseman John Ellis and both dugouts and bullpens rushed the field. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Watch the Rangers-Indians brawl from 1974 five days before the infamous 10-cent beer night fiasco | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 21 May 2018 Ruiz suffered a severe leg injury while rolling out at quarterback and being tackled during an October 2017 game. Brody Miller, NOLA.com, "Drew Brees surprises California teen with prosthetic leg," 16 May 2018 Here, though, is where England learns that its snooty jibes are as misguided as its attempts to tackle Luka Modric and his Croatian chums in Wednesday’s semifinal. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Sorry, England: the USA is right to call football 'soccer'," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tackle

Statistics for tackle

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tackle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tackle



English Language Learners Definition of tackle

: 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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 teach someone the beliefs of a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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