American English

Definition of tack noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] = thumbtack
  2. 2[countable] a small nail with a sharp point and a flat head, used especially for attaching a carpet to the floor a carpet tack compare nail
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] (technology) 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).
  4. 4[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.
  5. 5[countable] a long loose stitch used for holding pieces of cloth together temporarily, before you sew them finally
  6. 6[uncountable] (technology) 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)
  7. Idioms
    (get down to) brass tacks (informal)
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    (to start to consider) the basic facts or practical details of something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tack