tact·ful | \ˈtakt-fəl \

Definition of tactful 

: having or showing tact

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Other Words from tactful

tactfully \ˈtakt-fə-lē \ adverb
tactfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tactful


diplomatic, politic


gauche, impolitic, tactless, undiplomatic, untactful

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Examples of tactful in a Sentence

He gave a tactful critique of her story. It was tactful of her not to criticize me in front of my boss.

Recent Examples on the Web

Many women calculate in this competitive way; most are too tactful to say so. Allison Pearson, New York Times, "A Warning to Women of a Certain Age: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Nightdress," 29 May 2018 Glenn, a former astronaut and the first American to orbit the Earth, was not as tactful. azcentral, "John McCain gets into 'a hell of a mess' with the Keating Five scandal," 2 Apr. 2018 The Troy Police Department has been garnering clicks, making tactful use of the #hashtag and racking up the retweets with their continuing Twitter campaign for a new station mascot: a #policecat. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Troy Police Department launches Twitter campaign to get a #policecat," 11 Mar. 2018 Even divine-right monarchies had their tactful regencies and pragmatic sanctions. Helen Andrews, National Review, "Where Zimbabwe Went Wrong," 18 Dec. 2017 The HAPIfork does what your tactful friends won’t, imparting its lessons subtly. Justin Peters, Slate Magazine, "Should This Thing Be Smart? Fork Edition.," 24 Oct. 2017 Taking out Matic and Diego Costa from the title winning side of last year and replacing them with Alvaro Morata and Bakayoko shows a very real transition to a more tactful, less oppressive style of play. SI.com, "FanView: Why Chelsea Were Right to Let Nemanja Matic Leave This Summer," 9 Oct. 2017 As one of the main players who have now had time to reflect on the outcome of the election and what happened, Obama chose to be frank about the women who betrayed their own interests, while also maintaining her tactful and diplomatic self. Vogue, "Michelle Obama Gets Real About Women Who Voted for Donald Trump," 27 Sep. 2017 And Roger Goodell, normally so keen to wield his hammer over NFL players, has been reduced to tactful diplomacy in the face of a genuine humanist movement. Drew Magary, GQ, "The NFL Cannot Stop What Colin Kaepernick Started," 7 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tactful.' 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 tactful

1864, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of tactful was in 1864

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English Language Learners Definition of tactful

: careful not to offend or upset other people : having or showing tact


tact·ful | \ˈtakt-fəl \

Kids Definition of tactful

: having or showing the ability to do or say things without offending other people

Other Words from tactful

tactfully \-fə-lē \ adverb
tactfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on tactful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tactful

Spanish Central: Translation of tactful

Nglish: Translation of tactful for Spanish Speakers

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