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

Defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga and linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi, who combined for 10.5 tackles for loss last season, return. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 56 BYU pushes to build on breakthrough season," 30 June 2019 Former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Langston Walker is selling his Oakland Hills home for $2.25 million, reports the L.A. Times. Pueng Vongs, The Mercury News, "Photos: Former Raiders lineman selling Oakland Hills mansion," 25 June 2019 Defensive tackle Daniel Foster-Allen committed to Auburn earlier this year. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al.com, "’A really, really good football player:’ St. Paul’s 2020 safety Reggie Bracy commits to Iowa," 24 June 2019 Phoenix Brophy Prep offensive tackle Andrew Milek, 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, gave a commitment to play football at USC on Saturday. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Brophy Prep tackle Andrew Milek commits to USC, becomes 9th offensive linemen in Arizona's 2020 class to commit," 23 June 2019 All 13 are three-star prospects, and five are from Maryland, including Brade, offensive guard Jordan White (DeMatha), wide receiver Corey Dyches (Potomac), and offensive tackles Ja’Khi Green (St. Frances) and Santana Saunders (C.H. Flowers). Giana Han, baltimoresun.com, "Three-star defensive back Shane Mosley commits to Maryland football, joining brother Jordan," 21 June 2019 The team did not re-sign expensive defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and cut linebacker Mark Barron. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "NFC West Offseason Reports: Can the Rams Hold Off the Re-Stocked 49ers, Russell Wilson, and the Kyler/Kliff Cardinals?," 21 June 2019 Former Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis, former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Will Sutton and former New York Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks each attended showcases for the XFL, too. Andy Kostka, USA TODAY, "XFL provides another chance for players who don't want to give up on football dreams," 20 June 2019 Star defensive tackle Aaron Donald is now under a long-term contract and will be in training camp for the first time in three years. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "If Todd Gurley is not at full speed, Rams could fall out of running in NFC," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

From health care to climate change, the crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders has a number of complex subjects to tackle in stump speeches, interviews and debates. Josiah Bates, Time, "Criminal Justice Reform Is Proving a Tricky Subject for Many of These 2020 Democrats," 2 July 2019 The Robertsons began tackling these debts in August 2014, after moving to Houston, where Ray made about $55,000 as project manager for a hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Washington Post, "How I ditched debt: ‘It made our marriage so strong’," 2 July 2019 But her latest post tackles another topic: how sometimes her messages are taken the wrong way. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Influencer Flaunts Her Booty to Prove That Not Every Bikini Photo Is Meant to Be Sexual," 2 July 2019 After the opening section, which acts as a tutorial for both the cat and mech forms of Kiki, the game opens up into three different sections that can be tackled in any order. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Gato Roboto is a streamlined Metroid starring a cat in a mech," 30 June 2019 The offensive line returns four starters, including three who started every game last season — tackle Brady Christensen, guard Tristen Hoge and center James Empey. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 56 BYU pushes to build on breakthrough season," 30 June 2019 Guard/tackle Billy Turner received the longest contract in term (four years with Green Bay) and center Matt Paradis signed the richest deal in total dollars ($29 million) and guaranteed money ($12 million). Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "O’Halloran: Off-season program was time of discovery for Broncos’ offensive coaches," 30 June 2019 As evening fell in Salem, lawmakers in both the House and Senate were still tackling a long list of pending legislation. oregonlive.com, "With GOP walkout over, Oregon lawmakers hurry to finish session," 29 June 2019 No one is tackling in 7-on-7 but incidental contact or players inadvertently running into each other is very much possible. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Soft-shell helmets debut at 7-on-7 tourney," 28 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

5 Jul 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

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