tact·​ful | \ ˈtakt-fəl How to pronounce tactful (audio) \

Definition of tactful

: having or showing tact

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Other Words from tactful

tactfully \ ˈtakt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce tactfully (audio) \ 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

Be honest about your feelings and opinions in a tactful, non confrontational way to avoid future misunderstandings. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 10, 2019: Leo, money can motivate; Sagittarius, business deal could be too good to be true," 10 Sep. 2019 Or is there a tactful way to find out if my wife is invited? Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: They took advantage of our party invitation," 27 July 2019 Or is there a tactful way to find out if my wife is invited? Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Guest list gets out of hand," 27 July 2019 Coleman’s iteration is more tactful, but the idea is similar: Students who demonstrate their intellectual ability, in this case by performing well on a flawed test, deserve to transcend their rough circumstances through education. Annie Abrams, The New Republic, "The College Board Hopes to Profit from “Adversity”," 6 June 2019 With her irresistible going-out look, Depp has not only demonstrated how to recreate Tate's iconic beauty statements with a tactful modern slant, but also proved that the '60s beauty revival has only just begun. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Lily Rose Depp Channels Sharon Tate With ‘60s-Inspired Eyeliner," 28 May 2019 Getty Images Because the internet is about as tactful and gentle as a sack full of metal wrenches, Jenna Dewan and Jessie J have been facing constant comparison of late. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Sends Jessie J "Nothing But Respect" After Post About Comparisons in the Media," 19 Nov. 2018 Facebook's justification for removing problematic accounts—using duplicate profiles, artificially boosting metrics, inflaming political tension to fatten ad revenue—is a tactful one. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook's Fake News Problem Isn't Russian Anymore—It's Homegrown," 12 Oct. 2018 Image 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

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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Statistics for tactful

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for tactful

The first known use of tactful was in 1864

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More Definitions for tactful



English Language Learners Definition of tactful

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


tact·​ful | \ ˈtakt-fəl How to pronounce tactful (audio) \

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

Comments on tactful

What made you want to look up tactful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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