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

Dye has a chance to be Oregon’s all-time leading tackler and have entries throughout the record books but Weaver is an All-American and his 158 tackles last season were No. 2 nationally. oregonlive.com, "Oregon opponent early scouting report: Cal," 12 July 2019 Few players fly around the way Murray does, as evidenced by his eye-popping 155 total tackles in 2018. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2019: Nos. 50–26," 10 July 2019 His 122 tackles ranked third on the team behind Mike Singletary and Gayle. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 61, Mark Carrier," 7 July 2019 Brown was a solid and indefatigable tackle who never gave up on a play, as indicated by his strong back-side pursuit. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "Trey Flowers left a big hole to fill on the Patriots defensive line," 4 July 2019 Andrew, who will be a senior at Poway this fall, is a left tackle on offense and also plays on the defensive line for the Titans football team. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Graduation leaves Poway with crucial roles to fill," 27 June 2019 The reports noted that Joiner, as a junior player, led all of UF's defensive backs with 59 tackles. Fox News, "Ex-Florida player charged with murder in wife's 2016 death," 10 June 2019 Wilkinson started games last year at guard, but is best suited to being a swing tackle. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Projecting how the Broncos’ initial 53-man roster will look," 9 June 2019 The Seahawks veteran has been an offensive tackle ever since. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks veteran leader Duane Brown doesn’t move like an offensive lineman. Here’s why.," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the past, the state has given the city additional resources to tackle gun violence in the past, such as when Hartford launched the Shooting Task Force, a collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, in 2011. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Mayor Luke Bronin asks state for help with city violence as latest homicide suspect faces judge," 16 July 2019 Earlier this month, German independent game studio Jo-Mei, in partnership with publisher EA, released its first narrative game Sea of Solitude, an adventure that tackles mental health issues with a unique art style and cinematic direction. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "How a Turbulent Relationship and Professional Ennui Inspired Indie Game 'Sea of Solitude'," 16 July 2019 The latest film to tackle this trope is The Hunt (out Sept. 27). Clark Collis, EW.com, "People are the prey in teaser for The Hunt starring Betty Gilpin," 12 July 2019 The government has also done little or nothing to tackle vested interests. The Economist, "Will Matteo Salvini wreck the euro?," 11 July 2019 Even an executive order would in all likelihood yield another legal challenge—one which the administration may not have time to tackle with the printing deadline fast approaching. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Can Trump Force the 2020 Citizenship Question by Executive Order?," 11 July 2019 The researchers say their data shows global tree restoration to be the most effective way to tackle climate change. Mark Tutton, CNN, "Restoring forests could capture two-thirds of the carbon humans have added to the atmosphere," 4 July 2019 The memo suggests the committee create a list of issues to tackle at its first meeting. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sweetwater Authority set to create a citizens advisory committee," 3 July 2019 That left the women in the race with a considerable challenge for last week’s debates: introducing themselves to voters while also finding a way to tackle the lingering doubt that this country would elect a female president. Lisa Lerer, New York Times, "It’s a Question No One Says They Want to Ask. But the Women Running for President Keep Hearing It.," 3 July 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

19 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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an act or instance of editing or removing

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