see also: Tack
  • (RP, America) IPA: /tæk/
  • (Northern England) IPA: /tak/


  1. A small nail with a flat head.
    • 2012, July 15. Richard Williams in Guardian Unlimited, Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track ↗
      A tough test for even the strongest climber, it was new to the Tour de France this year, but its debut will be remembered for the wrong reasons after one of those spectators scattered carpet tacks on the road and induced around 30 punctures among the group of riders including Bradley Wiggins, the Tour's overall leader, and his chief rivals.
  2. A thumbtack.
  3. (sewing) A loose seam used to temporarily fasten pieces of cloth.
  4. (nautical) The lower corner on the leading edge of a sail relative to the direction of the wind.
  5. (nautical) A course or heading that enables a sailing vessel to head upwind. See also reach, gybe.
  6. A direction or course of action, especially a new one.
    • 1922 , James Joyce, Ulysses, chapter V:
      Maud Gonne’s letter about taking them off O’Connell street at night: disgrace to our Irish capital. Griffith’s paper is on the same tack now: an army rotten with venereal disease: overseas or halfseasover empire.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 637:
      I thought that my refusing Barnard would alienate Botha, and decided that such a tack was too risky.
  7. (nautical) The maneuver by which a sailing vessel turns its bow through the wind so that the wind changes from one side to the other.
  8. (nautical) The distance a sailing vessel runs between these maneuvers when working to windward; a board.
  9. (nautical) A rope used to hold in place the foremost lower corners of the courses when the vessel is close-hauled; also, a rope employed to pull the lower corner of a studding sail to the boom.
  10. Any of the various equipment and accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack.
  11. (manufacturing, construction, chemistry) The stickiness of a compound, related to its cohesive and adhesive properties.
    The laminate adhesive has very aggressive tack and is hard to move once in place.
  12. Food generally; fare, especially of the bread kind.
    hardtack; soft tack
    • 1913, D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
      But if a woman's got nothing but her fair fame to feed on, why, it's thin tack, and a donkey would die of it!
  13. That which is attached; a supplement; an appendix.
    • Some tacks had been made to money bills in King Charles's time.
  14. (legal, Scotland) A contract by which the use of a thing is set, or let, for hire; a lease.
    • 1885: The Crofter in History by Lord Colin Campbell
      In the Breadalbane papers, for example, there is a "tack" which was given by Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy to his "weil belouit" servant John M'Conoquhy V'Gregour, in the year 1530.
  15. (obsolete) Confidence; reliance.
  • (nautical maneuver) coming about
Translations Translations
  • Russian: стежо́к
Translations Translations
  • French: cap
  • Russian: курс
  • Spanish: curso de acción
  • French: virement lof pour lof
  • German: Wende
  • Russian: галс
  • Spanish: virar
Translations Translations Translations Verb

tack (tacks, present participle tacking; past and past participle tacked)

  1. To nail with a tack (small nail with a flat head).
  2. To sew/stich with a tack (loose seam used to temporarily fasten pieces of cloth).
  3. (nautical) To maneuver a sailing vessel so that its bow turns through the wind, i.e. the wind changes from one side of the vessel to the other.
  4. To add something as an extra item.
    to tack (something) onto (something)
  5. Often paired with "up", to place the tack on a horse.
  • (nautical: to turn the bow through the wind) to change tack
  • (nautical: to turn the stern through the wind) to wear
Translations Translations Translations Translations Related terms Noun

tack (plural tacks)

  1. A stain; a tache.
  2. (obsolete) A peculiar flavour or taint.
    • So stoutly held to tack by those near North-Wales' men

tack (uncountable)

  1. (colloquial) That which is tacky; something cheap and gaudy.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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