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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cowboys offensive tackle Cam Erving told USA TODAY Sports. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Inside the NFL offensive linemen summit, where players prepare for a season of uncertainty," 14 July 2020 The Browns already had massive problems at both offensive tackle spots. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "What’s the deal with Olivier Vernon? What about the D-line, is it better? Let’s talk Cleveland Browns!," 12 July 2020 Ge’mon Eaford, who appeared in 10 games mostly on special teams and played 28 snaps on defense and had one tackle as a true freshman last season, has transferred to Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks linebacker Ge’mon Eaford transfers to junior college," 9 July 2020 The decline seems to be largely related to the decreasing number of kids playing tackle football and the increase in the additional contact limitations put on the game. Jen Christensen, CNN, "As fewer kids played football, hospitals saw a big drop in ER visits," 9 July 2020 Marcus Freeman may have their best defense yet with the return of the dynamic end-tackle duo of junior Myjai Sanders and senior Curtis Brooks and six of seven primary defenders in the secondary. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, "AAC college football preview: Can the UC Bearcats challenge Memphis Tigers for AAC crown?," 8 July 2020 Outside of the virus affecting the Cowboys, defensive tackle/end Tyrone Crawford (hips) and inside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) were recovering from surgeries. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "6 things to look for from the Cowboys as the NFL enters its dead period: Will Jerry Jones talk?," 27 June 2020 Practically any lure in your tackle box can be fished around a boathouse, but some are more efficient than others. Steve Price, Field & Stream, "Catch More Bass Near Boathouses and Docks," 24 June 2020 How does the bank tackle issues like difficulty getting mortgages and loans, access to capital, financial literacy? Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit bank born out of '67 unrest turns 50: Here's why CEO says survival is crucial," 19 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wednesday's announcement comes as federal agents have deployed to Chicago to tackle an uptick in violent crime. Fox News, "Alleged leader of Chicago's Black Disciples, known as 'Murder,' among several charged in federal gun, drug probe," 30 July 2020 Still, the officers managed to tackle the man to the ground and disarm him, apparently without causing serious injury. NBC News, "Camden, N.J. disbanded its police force. Here's what happened next.," 22 June 2020 Concerted efforts are also needed on climate change, another challenge no country can tackle on its own. The Economist, "The new world disorder Global leadership is missing in action," 18 June 2020 Last fall, investing firm Candide Group launched the Olamina Fund, which invests in groups that tackle inequality and promote social justice for women and people of color. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Corporate America confronts racism. Why this time may be different.," 18 June 2020 It’s not too late to tackle some shutdown tasks and create Instagram-worthy rooms, gardens and accessories. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Paint a room, build a fire pit, string solar lights: More stay-at-home projects for summer," 17 June 2020 In early June, Peter DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon, introduced a $494 billion transportation bill to tackle a backlog of repairs on bridges and mass transit and to build climate change-resilient infrastructure. Ari Natter, Bloomberg.com, "Clean Energy Executives Worry Democrats Have Abandoned Them," 14 June 2020 Fund backers want to help support affordable housing development as quickly as possible but also acknowledge much more than $100 million is needed to tackle Arizona’s growing affordable housing problem. Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix and housing groups ask Ducey to extend Arizona's halt on evictions until end of 2020," 13 July 2020 Adams came to Washington three years ago to tackle another problem — the raging opioid crisis — by drawing from a painful personal history with a brother who has struggled with substance abuse. Washington Post, "Surgeon General Jerome Adams may be the nicest guy in the Trump administration. But is that what America needs right now?," 12 July 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.

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

Time Traveler for tackle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tackle

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tackle. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!