Definition of tack noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tæk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæk//
    Equine sports, Travelling by boat or ship
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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] the way in which you deal with a particular situation; the direction of your words or thoughts a complete change of tack It was a brave decision to change tack in the middle of the project. When threats failed, she decided to try/take a different tack. His thoughts wandered off on another tack. I find gentle persuasion is the best tack.
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] (specialist) the direction that a boat with sails takes as it sails at an angle to the wind in order to fill its sails They were sailing on (a) port/starboard tack(= with the wind coming from the left/right side). See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  3. 3[countable] a small nail with a sharp point and a flat head, used especially for fixing a carpet to the floor a carpet tack compare nail
  4. 4[countable] (North American English) = thumbtack see also Blu-tack™
  5. 5[countable] a long loose stitch used for holding pieces of cloth together temporarily, before you sew them finally Wordfinderbaste, bind, embroidery, hem, lining, seam, sew, stitch, tack, thread
  6. 6[uncountable] (specialist) the equipment that you need for riding a horse, such as a saddle and bridle a tack room (= the room where this equipment is kept) Wordfinderbridle, gallop, harness, horse, paddock, rein, stable, stirrup, tack, thoroughbred See related entries: Equine sports
  7. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 5 Middle English (in the general sense ‘something that fastens one thing to another’): probably related to Old French tache ‘clasp, large nail’. noun sense 6 late 18th cent. (originally dialect in the general sense ‘apparatus, equipment’): contraction of tackle. The current sense dates from the 1920s.Extra examples New research is taking a different tack. She suddenly changed tack, taking him by surprise. The interviewer decided to try another tack. The yacht swung to the opposite tack. We were sailing on starboard tack. It was a brave decision to change tack half-way through the project. This represented a complete change of tack. When threats failed she tried a different tack.Idioms
    (get down to) brass tacks
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    (informal) (to start to consider) the basic facts or practical details of something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tack