tac·​tic | \ ˈtak-tik How to pronounce tactic (audio) \

Definition of tactic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a device for accomplishing an end
2 : a method of employing forces in combat



Definition of tactic (Entry 2 of 3)

: of or relating to arrangement or order

Definition of -tactic (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or having (such) an arrangement or pattern paratactic
2 : showing orientation or movement directed by a (specified) force or agent geotactic

Examples of tactic in a Sentence

Noun an effective tactic for solving crimes We may need to change tactics. a specialist in naval tactics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some hospitals are employing more heavy-handed tactics. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "‘At War With No Ammo’: Doctors Say Shortage of Protective Gear Is Dire," 19 Mar. 2020 That tactic was used as a component of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was run by Neel Kashkari, who is now president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Justin Sink, Fortune, "U.S. may take equity stake in companies that get coronavirus aid, White House advisor Kudlow says," 19 Mar. 2020 Distance education is often a mixture of tools and tactics to maximize circumstances like this. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "Distance Learning During Coronavirus: How It Works, Benefits and Challenges," 19 Mar. 2020 Faced with the covid-19 pandemic, however, the commission has so far opted for a different tactic: less Europe. The Economist, "Charlemagne More Europe or less?," 19 Mar. 2020 The two Patriot groups were aligned under the Patriot Movement Arizona banner but split in 2019 over a disagreement about tactics. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Coronavirus could lead to spread of racist rhetoric online, hate monitors warn," 18 Mar. 2020 The word connotes solitary confinement and incarceration — two tactics rooted in oppression. Sarah Fay, Longreads, "On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets])," 17 Mar. 2020 Egan dives into the things consumers need to know to make effective choices without dumbing down, scare tactics or preaching. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Conscious Eater' author spells out ways to dine on healthy, environmentally friendly food," 16 Mar. 2020 Social distancing tactics like cancelling March Madness and Cher concerts could slow the spread of the virus enough to give hospitals time to treat some people, while others recover. Ramsey Archibald | Rarchibald@al.com, al, "Why is school canceled? Because rapid coronavirus spread could break Alabama’s health care system," 14 Mar. 2020

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


1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tactic


New Latin tactica, from Greek taktikē, from feminine of taktikos


New Latin tacticus, from Greek taktikos

Adjective combining form

Greek taktikos

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Time Traveler for tactic

Time Traveler

The first known use of tactic was in 1640

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Statistics for tactic

Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tactic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tactic. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for tactic


How to pronounce -tactic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tactic

: an action or method that is planned and used to achieve a particular goal
: the activity or skill of organizing and moving soldiers and equipment in a military battle


tac·​tic | \ ˈtak-tik How to pronounce tactic (audio) \

Kids Definition of tactic

: a planned action for some purpose “All that kid does is cry and he gets his way.” … “If I tried that tactic, my parents would just say, ‘Grow up.’ …”— Pam Zollman, Don't Bug Me!


tac·​tic | \ ˈtak-tik How to pronounce tactic (audio) \

Medical Definition of tactic

1 : regular in structure of repeating units in a polymer
2 : of, relating to, or showing biological taxis

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More from Merriam-Webster on tactic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tactic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tactic

Spanish Central: Translation of tactic

Nglish: Translation of tactic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tactic for Arabic Speakers

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