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

Indianapolis Star INDIANAPOLIS — Tyquan Lewis’ transition from defensive end to defensive tackle for the Colts took a brief pause Monday afternoon. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Colts Tyquan Lewis ready to offer 'versatility' at defensive tackle," 17 June 2019 Garcia would have been a four-year starter at left offensive tackle for Troy had not an injury cut his redshirt-freshman season in half. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al.com, "NFL suspends former Troy offensive tackle," 10 June 2019 Ogunjobi is coming off a season that saw a statistical increase from his rookie year, collecting 5.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for loss. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "Browns DT Larry Ogunjobi seeks out knowledge from the best in quest to improve: ‘You always have to be curious’," 6 June 2019 In his first three seasons, Brown averaged 2.8 sacks, 4.7 tackles for loss and five quarterback hits. Josh Katzenstein, nola.com, "Saints hoping Malcom Brown has untapped potential as pass rusher," 5 June 2019 Flores said when asked about Jones, who has started 109 of his 124 career games with 21 interceptions and 40 tackles for loss. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins excited about Reshad Jones’ practice participation," 4 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hany Farid, a UC Berkeley professor who codeveloped PhotoDNA with Microsoft while at Dartmouth, says that program has demonstrated an important new model for tackling child pornography. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How Facial Recognition Is Fighting Child Sex Trafficking," 19 June 2019 Fans will have to wait a few more months to see if more songs tackle serious issues. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Taylor Swift releases star-studded video for "You Need To Calm Down," challenging anti-LGBTQ beliefs," 17 June 2019 Tara handled caring for Patrick, while Gallagher tackled house projects. oregonlive.com, "He never expected to be a single dad. Then a gunman in Virginia Beach made him one.," 17 June 2019 That was when another officer rushed in and tackled Dotson to the ground, before putting him in handcuffs. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Baltimore Officer Arrested After Manhandling Passerby Who Commented On Detainment Of Another Man," 17 June 2019 Clarence Jackson, of Markham, and his daughter, Shareice were bearing cameras and tri-pods, rather than fishing polls and tackle boxes. Gregory Tejeda, Daily Southtown, "Area dads spend Father's Day in the time-honored pursuit of fish, with help of free worms," 17 June 2019 Torres promised Monday to recharge the economy, tackle the country’s security situation, and run an efficient government. Sonia Perez D., SFChronicle.com, "Former first lady heads to runoff in presidential race in Guatemala," 17 June 2019 The summit also will include: 30 breakout sessions and panel discussions with local, regional and national experts tackling lead poisoning. Rachel Dissell, cleveland.com, "The busy week ahead for Cleveland lead poisoning prevention efforts," 17 June 2019 The 6-foot-6, 310-pound North Carolina native has some versatility and saw time at both guard and tackle at Florida State. Matt Zenitz | Mzenitz@al.com, al.com, "Alabama lands graduate transfer offensive lineman," 16 June 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

21 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 take the place or position of

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