thumb·​tack | \ˈthəm-ˌtak \

Definition of thumbtack 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a tack with a broad flat head for pressing into a surface with the thumb


thumbtacked; thumbtacking; thumbtacks

Definition of thumbtack (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fasten with a thumbtack

Examples of thumbtack in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the Maison Mayle shop on Great Jones Street, Yola Mezcal negronis were served beneath a giant Shubuck drawing, its canvas stuck to the wall with what looked like a hundred thumbtacks. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Simone Shubuck’s New Book Celebrates Her Many Creative Mediums," 30 June 2018 With the help of an adult, push your thumbtack through the sticker or tape at the center of the pinwheel. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "Just Keep Spinning--Find the Best Pinwheel Design!," 29 Mar. 2018 Push in 4 yellow thumbtacks for eyes; draw pupils with black permanent marker. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "65+ of the Most Creative Halloween Pumpkin-Carving Ideas," 14 Sep. 2017 Make sure the pinwheel is held securely but can still turn on the thumbtack. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "Just Keep Spinning--Find the Best Pinwheel Design!," 29 Mar. 2018 With the help of an adult stick the thumbtack through the mark on each strip until all four strips are attached to the tack. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "Just Keep Spinning--Find the Best Pinwheel Design!," 29 Mar. 2018 Rotate the pieces and cut them crosswise into a medium dice (about the size of a thumbtack). Chris Ross,, "Fried rice with fresh veggies," 26 Mar. 2018 One of the tables was on fire, one was covered in thumbtacks and the last with light bulbs. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Is a permanent 'homeless district' on its way to Louisville?," 11 Jan. 2018 Now the mezzanine looks as if it had been moved on a trailer from some other building and attached with thumbtacks. Pete Wells, New York Times, "The Pool Strives to Deal With Its Famous Dining Room," 17 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And in the end, there’s no writing-workshop epiphany, but rather that thrilling moment when the circles and arrows linking up the photographs thumbtacked to the squad-room wall form a previously unseen web of connection. Mark Binelli, New York Times, "Is the Next Nobel Laureate in Literature Tending Bar in a Dusty Australian Town?," 27 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thumbtack.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of thumbtack


1884, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thumbtack

Statistics for thumbtack

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thumbtack

The first known use of thumbtack was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thumbtack



English Language Learners Definition of thumbtack

: a short pin that has a large, flat head and that is used to attach papers, pictures, etc., to a wall or bulletin board


thumb·​tack | \ˈthəm-ˌtak \

Kids Definition of thumbtack

: a tack with a broad flat head for pressing into a board or wall with the thumb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on thumbtack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thumbtack

Spanish Central: Translation of thumbtack

Nglish: Translation of thumbtack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thumbtack for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thumbtack

What made you want to look up thumbtack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!