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thumb·​tack ˈthəm-ˌtak How to pronounce thumbtack (audio)
: a tack with a broad flat head for pressing into a surface with the thumb


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thumbtacked; thumbtacking; thumbtacks

transitive verb

: to fasten with a thumbtack

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Then using the pushpin thumbtack, poke holes up and down the bag. Jeanette Marantosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2023 In a 2019 incident in Huron Valley Schools, a student was secluded for 13 minutes after reportedly losing a game of Connect Four and also threatening to stab an adult with a thumbtack. Dave Boucher,, 12 Oct. 2022 To achieve smooth curves, create a compass with a thumbtack, string, and a pencil to guide your design. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Nov. 2022 Pitcher Rick Honeycutt hiding a thumbtack in his glove. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 26 Sep. 2022 The new type of USB4 will continue the USB-IF's questionable naming scheme that only its members and a thumbtack-and-string-covered corkboard can truly appreciate. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 1 Sep. 2022 Females grow to more than 6 feet long, while males measure 2.4 centimeters, about the size as a thumbtack. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 17 Jan. 2022 Alternatively, simply push a thumbtack through the top edge of the magnetic wall pad for a more secure hold. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Oct. 2021 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
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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


1884, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thumbtack was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near thumbtack

Cite this Entry

“Thumbtack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

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