tacit

adjective

tac·​it ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
1
: expressed or carried on without words or speech
the blush was a tacit answerBram Stoker
2
: implied or indicated (as by an act or by silence) but not actually expressed
tacit consent
tacit admission of guilt
tacitly adverb
tacitness noun

Example Sentences

While they got a frosty public response, officials say the private message was a tacit green light. Mark Thompson, Time, 16 Nov. 1998 Magic requires tacit cooperation of the audience with the magician—an abandonment of skepticism … the willing suspension of disbelief. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, 1996 What a writer must always remember, however, is that with rare exceptions—Edith Wharton then, Louis Auchincloss now—he or she is never really in society; a temporary visa is issued with the tacit stipulation that it will be withdrawn and access denied if confidences are betrayed. John Gregory Dunne, Harp, 1989 Myself, I like to play the field and see what happens, but there are certain tacit rules: do not mix freshwater fish with those from the sea; do not mix coarse fat fish with delicate ones … M. F. K. Fisher, With Bold Knife and Fork, 1969 She felt that she had her parents' tacit approval to borrow the car. There was a tacit agreement that he would pay off the loan. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Not least on that list of irritants are China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its refusal to rein in North Korea’s expanding ballistic missile program and ongoing disputes over trade and technology. Dallas News, 3 Feb. 2023 Not least on that list of irritants are China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its refusal to rein in North Korea’s expanding ballistic missile program and ongoing disputes over trade and technology. Tara Copp And Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Feb. 2023 Not least on that list of irritants are China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its refusal to rein in North Korea’s expanding ballistic missile program and ongoing disputes over trade and technology. Lolita C. Baldor, Fortune, 3 Feb. 2023 Not least on that list of irritants are China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its refusal to rein in North Korea’s expanding ballistic missile program, and ongoing disputes over trade and technology. Emily Yang Fujiyama, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Feb. 2023 Not least on that list of irritants are China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its refusal to rein in North Korea’s expanding ballistic missile program and ongoing disputes over trade and technology. Tara Copp, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Feb. 2023 Such a move by the U.S. appears to be Germany’s tacit precondition for releasing its own Leopard 2 tanks, desperately desired by President Zelenskyy and his troops for their war effort. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Jan. 2023 So if an industry hasn’t settled into tacit collusion, then firms will try to vie for market influence? Quartz, 23 Jan. 2023 Young athletes are typically conditioned to have a singular focus on their sport from an early age, with the tacit belief that this is the only route to success. Ian Mcmahan, The Atlantic, 2 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle French or Latin; Middle French tacite, from Latin tacitus silent, from past participle of tacēre to be silent; akin to Old High German dagēn to be silent

First Known Use

circa 1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tacit was circa 1650

Dictionary Entries Near tacit

Cite this Entry

“Tacit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tacit. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

tacit

adjective
tac·​it ˈtas-ət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
1
: expressed without words or speech
2
: understood or made known (as by an act or by silence) though not actually expressed
tacit approval
tacitly adverb
tacitness noun

Legal Definition

tacit

adjective
tac·​it ˈta-sət How to pronounce tacit (audio)
1
: implied (as by an act or by silence) rather than express
a tacit admission
2
in the civil law of Louisiana : arising by operation of law
a tacit mortgage
tacitly adverb

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