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 tactful (audio) \ adverb
tactfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for tactful



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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 In my opinion, Nate is remarkably tactful for his age. Cressida Leyshon, The New Yorker, "Allegra Goodman on the Parents of Teens," 18 Jan. 2021 Returning a gift might make someone feel unappreciated, so be tactful. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 27, 2020: Gemini, hope for the best; Virgo, change things up," 27 Dec. 2020 While Obama’s own talk with the justice was tactful, changing conditions should have made his implicit agenda clear, according to the two people briefed about the meeting, who spoke only on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic. Susan Dominus And Charlie Savage, chicagotribune.com, "The 2013 Obama-Ginsburg lunch that could have altered Supreme Court history — but didn’t," 26 Sep. 2020 In formal reports, private conversations with congressional staffers and local officials, and a growing presence on Twitter and in the popular press, Rivers has emerged as a clear-eyed, tactful narrator of the unfolding pandemic. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "To fight COVID-19, a young epidemiologist bridges the gulf between science and U.S. politics," 10 Sep. 2020 But for anyone who still did not hear about it, Miss Manners finds your wording extremely tactful. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Informing people of an unexpected death," 4 Sep. 2020 Earn respect and favorable attention by being diplomatic and tactful. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for August 20, 2020: Aries, people notice your dedication; Scorpio, be diplomatic, tactful," 20 Aug. 2020 Is there a tactful way to ask the groom's parents to split the bill for the reception dinner at this year's smaller do? The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'Even the dog'," 31 July 2020 The agency also falls into inaction at home from bureaucratic self-protectiveness and abroad from an excessive eagerness on the part of some inspectors to be tactful rather than confrontational. Daniel J. Kevles, The New York Review of Books, "The Scandal of Our Drug Supply," 6 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for tactful

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The first known use of tactful was in 1864

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Statistics for tactful

Last Updated

29 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tactful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tactful. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on tactful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tactful

Nglish: Translation of tactful for Spanish Speakers

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