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

In Benson's feature, the author notes Aplin's office has a map with a large array of thumbtacks going east to North Carolina and South all the way to Florida. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Here's What's Next for Buc-ee's," 2 July 2019 Moxley got the victory with his Death Rider DDT finisher onto a pile of thumbtacks. Jay Reddick,, "AEW Fyter Fest live results from Daytona Beach: Omega, Young Bucks, Moxley win main events," 29 June 2019 Collages securely affixed to the wall with nary a tape mark or thumbtack hole in sight. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "A Genius Trick to Hang Art Without a Frame," 16 May 2019 Rothman’s Department Store, a bric-a-brac shop that has sold everything from thumbtacks to toasters since 1918, has moved down the block. Julie Satow, New York Times, "The Ever Evolving North Fork," 18 May 2018 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

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.

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First Known Use of thumbtack


1884, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for thumbtack

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Time Traveler for thumbtack

The first known use of thumbtack was in 1884

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English Language Learners Definition of thumbtack

US : 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

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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 make a temporary encampment

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