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 Pisano was retiring from the military and launching a tactical weapons supply business. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage triple homicide witness reenacts shooting during third day of testimony," 20 Feb. 2020 The total cost of American tactical nuclear weapons will run to $25bn between 2017 and 2046, about $1bn a year. The Economist, "Turkey’s Syria move highlights America’s tactical nukes in Europe," 28 Nov. 2019 By making the harassment incidental to the regulatory violation she’s been tasked with uncovering, Wanda makes it a work matter, not a personal one, and her youth and gender become a unique tactical advantage for sniffing out bad eggs. Karla L. Miller, Washington Post, "Work Advice: How a female worksite inspector can stand up to sexist and ageist harassment," 12 Oct. 2019 And last month, tens of thousands of gun rights activists from across the country flooded the state Capitol and surrounding area in protest, some donning tactical gear and carrying military rifles. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Virginia advances gun control bills that ban sale of some semi-automatics, possession of high-capacity magazines," 7 Feb. 2020 Police in tactical gear with assault-style weapons searched buildings and went house-to-house in parts of the county. Washington Post, "Man caught and charged with murder after 15-hour manhunt in Maryland," 7 Feb. 2020 But pro-lifers have by and large not held that against him, since many of them considered the law a tactical mistake and most pro-life politicians have favored those exceptions. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "Donald Trump’s Pro-Life Presidency," 6 Feb. 2020 The small army of Capitol Police in tactical gear lining the marble hallways. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Watch live: Trump delivers State of the Union on eve of impeachment vote, a spectacle of vision, rancor and surreality," 5 Feb. 2020 While some griped about a tactical misstep here and there, few Democrats have openly criticized Pelosi’s decision to pursue impeachment. Mike Debonis, BostonGlobe.com, "Pelosi rips up Trump’s speech, capping off chaotic year," 5 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tactical

Time Traveler

The first known use of tactical was in 1570

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Statistics for tactical

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tactical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tactical. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for tactical


How to pronounce tactical (audio)

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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