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

The Texans were awarded offensive tackle Roderick Johnson off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans claim Roderick Johnson, cut Kendall Calhoun," 20 June 2018 Fingeris a 6-foot-5, 296-pound tackle at Fort Myers High. Chris Hays, OrlandoSentinel.com, "UCF lands 3 commits in 3 days," 19 June 2018 With the offensive line coming together, are the position battles going to be at center, left guard and right tackle? 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 Now, his stance at left tackle forces him to block one side. Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com, "Saints hoping 6-foot-10 Nate Wozniak can make smooth transition to offensive tackle," 15 May 2018 Only one tackle in the forecast, Connor Williams of Texas, was available at 17 where the team chose safety-linebacker Derwin James. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "NFL Draft separated fact from predraft fiction," 4 May 2018 Clay-Chalkville four-star 2019 defensive tackle DJ Dale committed to Alabama this afternoon. Daniel Boyette, AL.com, "In-state, 4-star DT DJ Dale chooses Alabama over Auburn, 3 others," 2 May 2018 Players such as offensive tackle Greg Robinson, the No. Gary Klein, latimes.com, "Rams part with Tavon Austin and fulfill team needs in late draft rounds," 29 Apr. 2018 To make that last bone crunching tackle or score that last game winning try. George Ramsay, CNN, "Springbok legend Bryan Habana bids goodbye to 'game made in heaven'," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Glenn Close tackles similar territory in The Wife, playing a woman who essentially wrote her husband's Nobel Prize-winning novel. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Fosse/Verdon Proves It's Time to Cancel the Fragile Male Ego," 10 Apr. 2019 The enzyme-containing formula tackles both spots and the lingering odors that come with them. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Couch Like a Pro," 29 Mar. 2019 His brother, linebacker Ketner Kupp, led EWU in tackles this past season. Ryan Collingwood, The Seattle Times, "Three former Eastern Washington stars heading to Super Bowl with Los Angeles Rams," 21 Jan. 2019 Manufacturers of voice assistants are tackling the problem of understanding disfluent speech in different ways. Kevin Wheeler, Curbed, "Why voice assistants don’t understand people who stutter," 12 Dec. 2018 Since then, she has been accepted to Harvard and even ran for city council at 19 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to tackle gentrification and income inequality in the area. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "How one woman is trying to end period stigma and the “tampon tax”," 18 Oct. 2018 The first season tackled Watergate and season two, currently in progress, investigates Clinton. Allie Volpe, Teen Vogue, "10 Best Crime Podcasts," 30 Aug. 2018 In fact, using data from OTC, Decker has the 24th-highest cap number among projected starting left tackles this season. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "5 Detroit Lions who should outperform their contracts in 2018," 18 June 2018 While the original satirized the treachery of French aristocracy during the Ancien Régime, its ’90s counterpart tackles the insular world of Manhattan’s prep schools and Upper East Side. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cruel Intentions Is Still a Teenage Fashion Dream 20 Years On," 22 Mar. 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

12 Apr 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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