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

He was being looked at as a future first- or second-round pick after making 55 tackles and 4 interceptions as a freshman at Virginia Tech. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Colts could make a selection in NFL supplemental draft," 9 July 2018 Tabor played 10 games, starting one, making 10 tackles for the season. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions must do these five things to make NFL playoffs in 2018," 28 June 2018 Ramos quickly became one of the most hated men on Twitter, and fans blasted him for the tackle. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Fans eviscerate Sergio Ramos for controversial tackle on Mohamed Salah," 26 May 2018 In his last two games against Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, Decoud came off the bench to make five tackles. John Mcclain, Houston Chronicle, "Texans move Treston Decoud from cornerback to safety," 4 May 2018 Dinson made 47 tackles with 2.5 for loss and four pass breakups while playing at Nickel last season. James Crepea, AL.com, "Auburn safety Jeremiah Dinson on schedule to return from shoulder injury by fall camp," 2 May 2018 Darius Leonard, the team’s rookie linebacker, led the NFL in tackles. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Two NFL Teams Nobody Wants to Play Are Playing Each Other," 5 Jan. 2019 Last year, after sitting out organized-team activities, the star defensive tackle attended the mandatory minicamp but did not participate in drills. Dan Woike & Gary Klein, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Chargers ready for quiet minicamp; Rams likely missing Aaron Donald," 11 June 2018 Joseph, an Oswego graduate, had earned consensus first team All-American honors as a cornerback after intercepting eight passes, deflecting 16 and ranking fourth on the team in tackles as a senior. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Joseph's journey: From Dubuque to the Bears, Oswego graduate Michael Joseph never gives up," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The series has the same real-life feel as the original series and tackles serious issues like bullying, beauty standards, and death. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "25 Amazing Disney Channel Shows That You Need to Binge ASAP," 8 Aug. 2018 In the interim, local authorities have attempted to tackle the issue themselves. Eli Meixler, Time, "Five Killed in Latest Mob Attack After Rumors on Social Media. Here’s What to Know About India's WhatsApp Murders," 3 July 2018 The money tries to combat child and elder abuse and tackle various health issues. Jeff Mcdonald, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Flush with cash, San Diego County is poised to adopt its biggest budget in history," 25 June 2018 But Heath used photography to tackle gigantic conceptual issues and his search for self-identity is a timeless concern. Jeremy Hallock, star-telegram, "Black and white photography master Dave Heath brings 'Solitude' to the Amon Carter," 20 June 2018 The scene is surprising, a missed mark for a show that spent much of the first season tackling issues like immigration and rape culture. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Bold Type Delivers on Its Leads," 13 June 2018 The networking group is the latest in a series of efforts by the global business community to tackle concerns about climate change, pollution and other environmental challenges. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Accounting for Sustainability Launches U.S. Chapter of Its CFO Leadership Network," 18 Apr. 2019 The organization has partnered with Indiana schools to tackle food insecurity among students in their area. Teen Vogue, "Food Insecurity Among American Public School Students Requires Aid Beyond Free Lunch Programs," 16 Apr. 2019 One of the tenets of his campaign is a promise to combine government incentives and regulations to push for a greener economy, in order to tackle both climate change and economic stagnation at the same time. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Potential Future First Lady Trudi Inslee," 10 Apr. 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

10 May 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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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