variants or tick-tack-toe
: a game in which two players alternately put Xs and Os in compartments of a figure formed by two vertical lines crossing two horizontal lines and each tries to get a row of three Xs or three Os before the opponent does

Examples of tic-tac-toe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This jumbo pack includes 20 colors of washable chalk for endless iterations of sidewalk art, hopscotch, or tic-tac-toe. Sharon Brandwein, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 Customize it by having your child’s name printed on the front and choosing a personalized back that either has a picture of your child, a tic-tac-toe game, or a word block design. Dorian Smith-Garcia, Parents, 7 Feb. 2024 Dmitry Orlov intercepted an outlet pass by Brock Faber and kicked it back into the Wild zone, setting up a quick tic-tac-toe rush that Martin Necas ended with a one-timer from the left circle at 14:02. John Shipley, Twin Cities, 22 Jan. 2024 Based on tic-tac-toe, the game challenges players to line up three pieces of the same color in similar sizes. Maya Polton, Parents, 21 Nov. 2023 Anybody who has played tic-tac-toe has probably worked out that the game can always be drawn, provided neither player makes a mistake. Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 This dual-sided set features cornhole on one, Roman tic-tac-toe on the other, and cute colorful graphics for each. Sharon Brandwein, Southern Living, 9 Aug. 2023 The theme park-like setting is ideal for indulging in donuts and fresh cider from Yates Cider Mill or partaking in pumpkin bowling and tic-tac-toe. Emily Cappiello, Travel + Leisure, 2 Aug. 2023 This year, for many pitchers, the Sox have emphasized the point in between-starts work, dividing the strike zone into ninths — a tic-tac-toe board slicing it into thirds horizontally and vertically, numbering each section. Alex Speier,, 28 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tic-tac-toe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


tic-tac-toe, former game in which players with eyes shut brought a pencil down on a slate marked with numbers and scored the number hit

First Known Use

circa 1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tic-tac-toe was circa 1866

Dictionary Entries Near tic-tac-toe

Cite this Entry

“Tic-tac-toe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or tick-tack-toe
: a game in which two players by turns put crosses and zeros in compartments of a figure formed by two vertical lines crossing two horizontal lines and each tries to get a row of three crosses or three zeros before the opponent does
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