Definition of tact
- converted the novel into a play with remarkable skill and tact
The peace talks required great tact on the part of both leaders.
I was surprised by his lack of tact.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
This word came to English directly from French (a Latin-based language), where it can also mean simply "sense of touch". Dealing with difficult situations involving other people can require the kind of extreme sensitivity that our fingertips possess. As Lincoln once said, "Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves", which doesn't usually come naturally. Someone tactful can soothe the feelings of the most difficult people; a tactless person will generally make a bad situation worse.
What made you want to look up tact? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
having a quality expressive of sadness
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