tac·​ti·​cal | \ ˈtak-ti-kəl How to pronounce tactical (audio) \

Definition of tactical

1 : of or relating to combat tactics: such as
a(1) : of or occurring at the battlefront a tactical defense a tactical first strike
(2) : using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront tactical missiles
b of an air force : of, relating to, or designed for air attack in close support of friendly ground forces
2a : of or relating to tactics: such as
(1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose
(2) : made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view
b : adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose

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Other Words from tactical

tactically \ ˈtak-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce tactically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of tactical in a Sentence

They gained a tactical advantage by joining with one of their competitors. He made a serious tactical error. The planes provided tactical air support for the soldiers on the ground.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Finely tuned motion, solid gun mechanics, and comfortable rotation and walking speeds are the primary drivers of this tactical-team shooter, which otherwise plays like a standard, asymmetric Counter Strike clone. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Feel better about your PlayStation VR with sweet new games Astro Bot, Firewall," 11 Oct. 2018 Negotiation and tactical teams are at the apartment complex, which is near Southwest 185th Avenue and Johnson Street, said Deputy Jeff Talbot, a Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "Police seeking suspect in shooting near Beaverton," 11 May 2018 Joel Preston, another Marine veteran, who commanded the tactical team, and Lt. Aaron Gell, Longreads, "Did Brian Easley Have to Die?," 9 Apr. 2018 As tactical teams posted up at the scene, Conditt sped away and stopped in a ditch. San Antonio Express-News, "Austin bomber was quiet, normal, friends and family say," 21 Mar. 2018 As tactical teams posted up at the scene, Conditt sped away and stopped in a ditch. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Austin bomber seemed quiet, normal to friends and family," 21 Mar. 2018 As police waited for a tactical team to arrive for assistance in detaining him, the suspect got into his vehicle and began to drive away, Manley said. Elaine Aradillas, PEOPLE.com, "Austin Serial Bombing Suspect Is Local Resident Mark Conditt: Reports," 21 Mar. 2018 Police negotiators and a tactical team had been on the scene since Friday, trying to persuade the suspect to turn himself in. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Suspect found dead after lengthy standoff on Milwaukee's north side," 10 Mar. 2018 Officers later arrested a man inside the home, later identified as Long, after calling a tactical team to the scene. Darrell Smith, sacbee, "Husband of slain South Land Park attorney back in court – this time in a wheelchair | The Sacramento Bee," 2 Mar. 2018

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

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tactical

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tactical

The first known use of tactical was in 1570

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English Language Learners Definition of tactical

: of, relating to, or used for a specific plan that is created to achieve a particular goal in war, politics, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tactical

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tactical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tactical

Spanish Central: Translation of tactical

Nglish: Translation of tactical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tactical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tactical

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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