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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Burfict finished with only 33 tackles and no sacks. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "Next Bengals coach inherits roster ready for big change," 1 Jan. 2019 That’s where Edwards first played organized tackle football and met Dan Albert, one of the only names an average fan would not recognize on a printed list of 14 coaching influences that Edwards always keeps handy. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "For ASU's Herm Edwards, sports bubble helped to overcome racism growing up," 12 July 2018 In last Monday’s win over Mexico, Neymar repeatedly overreacted to tackles and embellished fouls. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Neymar's fall leaves World Cup without a superstar," 7 July 2018 DT Viramontes Pippens recorded 47 tackles and 11 for loss. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Best of the best: DFW's Top 10 football teams in 2018," 6 July 2018 Barkley, who redshirted as a freshman at Independence in 2016, was injured for part of last season, making five tackles and recording one sack in eight games. David Scott, charlotteobserver, "How a former South Carolina recruit went from ‘Last Chance U’ to the Charlotte 49ers," 3 July 2018 He is set to make $8.5 million in 2018 after posting 88 total tackles and two interceptions in 14 games in 2017. Geoffrey C. Arnold, OregonLive.com, "Seattle Seahawks Earl Thomas to skip mandatory minicamp in contract dispute," 11 June 2018 Hopkins caught 96 passes for 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Ward had 27 tackles in seven games last season. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Texans star DeAndre Hopkins, 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward fight at joint practice," 15 Aug. 2018 His 16 tackles for loss or no gain led all interior defenders, according to Pro Football Focus. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "In his Fourth Season with the Falcons, Grady Jarrett Insists It’s Only the Beginning," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While Democrats support helping Dreamers, tackling such a complex policy issue while the funding fight remains unresolved seems unlikely, the aide said, noting previous efforts to yoke the two together had collapsed. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Shutdown Enters a New Week as House Democrats Ponder Next Move," 31 Dec. 2018 Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images How states are tackling the issue of student lunch debt New Mexico stands out as the state that’s taken the most comprehensive approach to student lunch debt. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "How states and crowdfunding are tackling the growing problem of student lunch debt," 27 Dec. 2018 Meghan Markle attended a meeting with educators, academic leaders, and students today in London to discuss how colleges and universities can address and tackle real-world issues including human trafficking, gender equality, and climate change. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Attended a Meeting on Higher Education in the Commonwealth," 5 Dec. 2018 Through fiction and nonfiction prose, these books look at life through a kaleidoscope of experience, tackling often difficult issues that helped define 2018—for better or for worse (or maybe a little of both). Nina Bahadur, SELF, "21 Best Books of 2018 to Buy for the Bookworm in Your Life," 15 Nov. 2018 The first Life is Strange tackled issues like cyberbullying, suicide, and assault through the eyes of its teenage protagonist Max and her friendships. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Life is Strange 2 puts politics at its forefront," 28 Sep. 2018 Industry are looking at lots of different ways of tackling this issue. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Needle-in-strawberry scare spreads across Australia," 17 Sep. 2018 On a separate note, the balance of gentle exfoliation and hydration makes the products ideal for tackling other bumpy-skin issues. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Exclusive: Dr. Pimple Popper Launches SLMD Skincare Body Smoothing System for Keratosis Pilaris," 22 Aug. 2018 Bigelow, though, was no stranger to tackling fresh issues. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "The Thai cave rescue is being made into a movie. As Hollywood's history shows, this was inevitable," 13 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.

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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

18 Jan 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

: 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

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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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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