tack·​le | \ ˈta-kəl How to pronounce tackle (audio) , nautical often ˈtā- How to pronounce tackle (audio) \

Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a set of the equipment used in a particular activity : gear fishing tackle
2a : a ship's rigging
b : an assemblage of ropes and pulleys arranged to gain mechanical advantage for hoisting and pulling
3a : the act or an instance of tackling
b(1) : either of two offensive football players positioned on each side of the center and between guard and end
(2) : either of two football players positioned on the inside of a defensive line


tackled; tackling\ ˈta-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce tackling (audio) \

Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to seize, take hold of, or grapple with especially with the intention of stopping or subduing
b : to seize and throw down or stop (an opposing player with the ball) in football
2 : to set about dealing with tackle the problem
3 : to attach or secure with or as if with tackle

intransitive verb

: to tackle an opposing player in football

Illustration of tackle

Illustration of tackle


tackle 2b

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from tackle


tackler \ ˈta-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce tackler (audio) \ noun

Examples of tackle in a Sentence

Noun a box for fishing tackle He made two tackles in the first half. Verb The police officer tackled him as he tried to escape. He was tackled at the line of scrimmage. I'll tackle my homework later. We found new ways to tackle the problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ohio four-star Tegra Tshabola is the only offensive tackle already commit to OSU’s class that ranks second in the country. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Aliou Bah, 2022 OT, calls Ohio State football offer “big time”: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup," 15 Sep. 2020 The other rookie in the game for New Orleans was undrafted rookie defensive tackle Malcolm Roach. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Saints snap counts: A look at the secondary usage and balance of carries for running backs," 14 Sep. 2020 Etienne was the team’s starting left guard last season before being moved into a reserve role, while Robinson was the team’s right tackle. Khobi Price, sun-sentinel.com, "FAU’s offensive line rounding into form; season-opener against Georgia Southern moved to ESPN," 12 Sep. 2020 The big addition on defense is defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, obtained from San Francisco for a first-round draft pick. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "NFL Week 1: How to watch Colts-Jaguars, odds, injuries," 10 Sep. 2020 Boselli’s father, Tony, was a former Pro Bowl tackle who played at USC before becoming the first pick of the fledgling Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1995 NFL draft. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "FSU football preview: 3 things to know about the Seminoles," 8 Sep. 2020 Kentrell Mason is also a left tackle that has started since his freshman year on varsity. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Football: North Shore headlines a tough District 21-6A with Atascocita, Beaumont West Brook," 7 Sep. 2020 Covington is a solid reserve defensive tackle who has 66 career games under his belt. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Source: Bengals trade LB Austin Calitro to Denver for DT Christian Covington," 4 Sep. 2020 Hayes made two starts (against Middle Tennessee State and Army) and was the team's swing tackle once Runyan returned from injury. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Ryan Hayes is the face of Michigan football's new-look offensive line," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Colts are also dealing with injuries to left tackle Anthony Castonzo and linebacker Matthew Adams. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Trey Burton out for a while; Anthony Castonzo injured, Parris Campbell fully healthy for Colts," 3 Sep. 2020 The rapper behind those words is Saints tackle Terron Armstead. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Saints' wearing of Jacob Blake's name on helmets 'a good start,' but more steps promised," 27 Aug. 2020 Stafford chased Ragland down the sideline but didn’t try to tackle him, which is standard practice in camp. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Reggie Ragland: Detroit Lions have same qualities as Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs," 23 Aug. 2020 First, New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "How rookie center Tyler Biadasz is dealing with the new reality of the NFL while competing for a starting job," 29 July 2020 But with so many families spending extra time at home this summer, this could be the moment many of us have been waiting for to tackle it once and for all. Dana Holmes, CNN Underscored, "Potty train your toddler this summer with these ideas from experts," 8 July 2020 The Broncos’ first Super Bowl team had five Hall of Famers in the starting lineup (quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis, tight end Shannon Sharpe, left tackle Gary Zimmerman and safety Steve Atwater). Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: Which veteran addition will surprise fans this year?," 7 July 2020 But the pandemic has still overwhelmed the health sector, and the virus is still spreading, and as resources continue to be diverted to tackle it, health experts are extremely aware of the other infections ready to erupt in its wake. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "Ending the coronavirus pandemic could cause over 1 million extra deaths from other diseases, experts warn," 6 July 2020 After the police tackle and restrain him, one of the officers can be seen removing a handgun from Scott’s pocket. NBC News, "'I can't breathe,' Oklahoma man tells police before dying. 'I don't care,' officer responds.," 10 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tackle.' 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 tackle


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for tackle


Middle English takel; akin to Middle Dutch takel ship's rigging

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Time Traveler for tackle

Time Traveler

The first known use of tackle was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tackle

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tackle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tackle. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for tackle


How to pronounce tackle (audio) How to pronounce tackle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: equipment that is used for a particular activity (especially fishing)
American football or rugby : the act of forcing the player who has the ball to fall to the ground
soccer, field hockey, etc. : the act of trying to get the ball from an opposing player



English Language Learners Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to forcefully seize (someone) and cause that person to fall to the ground
American football or rugby : to force (the player with the ball) to fall to the ground
soccer, field hockey, etc. : to try to get the ball from (an opposing player who has it)


tack·​le | \ ˈta-kəl How to pronounce tackle (audio) \
tackled; tackling

Kids Definition of tackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to seize and throw (a person) to the ground
2 : to begin working on I decided to tackle the job.



Kids Definition of tackle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a set of special equipment fishing tackle
2 : an arrangement of ropes and wheels for hoisting or pulling something heavy
3 : an act of seizing and throwing a person to the ground
4 : a football player positioned on the line of scrimmage

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