thumb·​tack | \ ˈthəm-ˌtak How to pronounce thumbtack (audio) \

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 This year, more than ever, is shaping up to be one of talking rats, thumbtack swords, and making entire meals out of feta cheese crumbles, both in and out of gaming. Pearse Anderson, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 For curved lines or circular shapes, create a makeshift compass by placing a thumbtack in the center and using a piece of string pulled taut to guide your pencil. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Sep. 2021 Just gently press a thumbtack all the way into the wide end of the egg. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Mar. 2021 There are five main compartments for all your pens and pencils, but our favorite parts of this caddy are the two smaller compartments that are perfect for paper clips or thumbtacks. Popular Science, 5 Apr. 2020 Over the course of the film, Hunter ingests a number of items including a marble, a battery, a thumbtack and dirt. Anne Cohen,, 6 Mar. 2020 What starts with her loudly chewing ice during dinner with her in-laws quickly devolves into her ingesting increasingly physically harmful objects: a marble, a thimble, a paperclip, a thumbtack, a battery, a nail. Anne Cohen,, 6 Mar. 2020 Soon, it's joined by other items—a stickpin, a lock, a AA battery, a thumbtack—as Hunter undertakes a daring and increasingly dangerous mission of self-reconstitution. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2020 Or should the women just bring their bloody sanitary napkins into an emergency room so the hospitals — who are pinned with responsibility in the language of the legislation — can fashion a thumbtack-sized coffin? Monica Hesse, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2019 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, 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

Time Traveler for thumbtack

Time Traveler

The first known use of thumbtack was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near thumbtack



thumb through

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for thumbtack

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thumbtack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 How to pronounce thumbtack (audio) \

Kids Definition of thumbtack

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

More from Merriam-Webster on thumbtack

Nglish: Translation of thumbtack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thumbtack for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!