tac·​ti·​cal | \ˈtak-ti-kəl \

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 \ 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

And if a tactical mistake had not been made with Point Given in the 2001 Derby and War Emblem had not stumbled so badly at the start of the 2002 Belmont, the trainer could actually have six Triple Crowns. Dick Jerardi, Philly.com, "Perfection takes the form of Triple Crown winner Justify | Dick Jerardi," 10 June 2018 Sherper's sells camping equipment, water sports equipment, outdoor clothing, military surplus, hunting gear, tactical gear and knives. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sherper's starts work on new Port Washington store, wants the city to become a 'destination' for outdoor enthusiasts," 14 May 2018 Both sides pack the latest in tactical gear and heavy weaponry and know how to use them. Chris Ball, cleveland.com, "'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 2 May 2018 Hutchinson finished 14th in the 5,000, clocking 15:57.00 in a race that was tactical from the gun. Jake Willard, Philly.com, "Villanova's Siofra Cleirigh Buttner takes fourth in NCAA 800 final," 9 June 2018 Karisch said Wednesday several people were taken into custody in the area by a specialized tactical unit, but Kasich didn't refer to them as suspects. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Border patrol agent shot in Arizona was attacked by several assailants, officials say," 13 June 2018 The officer who was shot was Jason Schneider, a member of a tactical unit who was serving a search warrant at a residence on Roberts Avenue in Catonsville, Watson said. Nelson Coffin, baltimoresun.com, "God's Squad: Baltimore County chaplains seek spiritual solace for cops and firefighters," 10 Apr. 2018 But one officer was berated more personally and intensely than any other cop from a special CHP tactical unit wearing riot gear that day. Marcos Bretón, sacbee, "Protesters called him ‘Uncle Tom.’ He took the abuse because that’s how the CHP – and his dad – trained him," 27 Mar. 2018 Police surrounded the hotel but hung back, waiting for tactical units bringing special protective equipment to arrive. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "Police Closed In on Austin Bomber After Following Trail of Clues," 21 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

4 Nov 2018

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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