tack·​le | \ ˈta-kəl How to pronounce tackle (audio) , nautical 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

Noun a box for fishing tackle He made two tackles in the first half. Verb 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 Phillips, who is in his sixth year, has 13 tackles through the first two games. BostonGlobe.com, "Frank Reich reaffirms Colts' commitment to Adam Vinatieri," 17 Sep. 2019 Mourning has 13 tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries through three games. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Paetow football showing early improvement entering District 10-5A Division II," 17 Sep. 2019 Justin Fields threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while the defense had 12 tackles for loss and a pick-six. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "Week 4 College Football Power Rankings: Clemson Further Proves ACC Dominance," 16 Sep. 2019 With him on the shelf, that opens opportunities for players such as seniors Quinn Williamson, who had five tackles (1½ for loss) Friday, Jaxen Wigger and Gavin Meader alongside veterans Logan Horton and Lucas Christen in Jesuit’s 3-5-3 scheme. Rene Ferran For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "‘Just a freak injury.’ Jesuit star and top recruit Andy Alfieri done for 2019 season (most likely)," 16 Sep. 2019 Raheem Mostert and Emmanuel Moseley had excellent tackles in coverage earlier. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers 41, Bengals 17: Studs and duds — Garoppolo, offense rule but Staley injured," 15 Sep. 2019 The Bulldogs have 21 tackles-for-loss, 8 quarterback sacks, and 7 forced turnovers in their first three games. J. Daniel Pearson Iii, orlandosentinel.com, "St. Cloud defense turns back Tohopekaliga," 14 Sep. 2019 Alec Frione had seven tackles, two interceptions and a pass defended for the Cheshire defense and Jason Shumilla had 175 yards of total offense for the Rams. Staff Reports, courant.com, "HS football: Simsbury edges Hall 9-3 in OT; Enfield tops East Hartford 42-41," 14 Sep. 2019 On defense, LBs Jordan Allen and Emiliano Martinez both have 25 tackles. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Week 4: John Maffei’s football picks and complete schedule," 12 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The hourlong, in-depth look at the issue tackles subjects such as the often untold story of Legionnaires disease and how much Michigan officials, including Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, knew. cleveland.com, "UAW, GM resume talks amid nationwide auto worker strike: The Flyover," 17 Sep. 2019 Left tackle Jesse Davis and cornerback Eric Rowe also struggled. Steve Wine, chicagotribune.com, "Miami Dolphins’ odds of winning Super Bowl now 20,000 to 1," 16 Sep. 2019 Despite their youthful target demographic, many of the works tackle complex themes with topics spanning global politics, loss, race and gender identity. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Here’s the National Book Awards’ 2019 longlist for young people’s literature," 16 Sep. 2019 Right tackle Korey Cunningham entered during the Pittsburgh opener when starter Marcus Cannon suffered a shoulder injury. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde10: Ten thoughts on Dolphins’ 43-0 loss to Patriots," 15 Sep. 2019 Detroit Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez tackles the tough questions as the Detroit Lions won their 2019 home opener, 13-10, against the Los Angeles Chargers: What happened to the Lions’ offense? Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' special teams abysmal in win over L.A. Chargers," 15 Sep. 2019 Through stories told about single mother Penelope (Justina Machado), her mother Lydia (EGOT winner Rita Moreno), and Penelope’s two children, Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz), the sitcom tackles important issues with heart and care. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "One Day at a Time," 14 Sep. 2019 Junior right tackle Derek Kerstetter also arrived in Austin as an unheralded three-star recruit ranked outside the nation’s top 600. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas’ Tom Herman and Yancy McKnight back in familiar territory at Rice," 13 Sep. 2019 Defensive tackles Jordan Whittley and Elu Aydon are emerging up front. oregonlive, "Oregon State Beavers vs. Cal Poly Mustangs football: Preview, notes, how to watch," 13 Sep. 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

11 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for tackle

The first known use of tackle was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for tackle


How to pronounce tackle (audio) How to pronounce tackle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tackle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tackle

Spanish Central: Translation of tackle

Nglish: Translation of tackle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tackle for Arabic Speakers

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