Definition of tackle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtak(ə)l/


1The equipment required for a task or sport: fishing tackle
More example sentences
  • A reasonable head of smaller fish, including Roach and Rudd offers the chance of good sport on light tackle.
  • Over the winter I have equipped myself with tackle suitable for catching large pike.
  • They are a beautifully marked silver and gold and make for great sport on light fly tackle.
gear, equipment, apparatus, kit, hardware;
implements, instruments, accoutrements, paraphernalia, trappings, appurtenances
informal things, stuff, bits and pieces
archaic equipage
2A mechanism consisting of ropes, pulley blocks, hooks, or other things for lifting heavy objects.
Example sentences
  • They pumped out water and used ropes and tackle to lift and pull pieces of the aircraft apart to conduct a search for hazardous components.
  • Lifting tackle can take up scenery and properties weighing a ton through a trap door in the roof to the second floor, 25 feet above.
  • Above this pit at the Water Works was mounted a steel beam carrying two block and tackles so as to be able to lift the motors in flood time or for servicing.
pulleys, gear, hoist, crane, winch, davit, windlass, sheave
2.1The running rigging and gear used to work a boat’s sails.
Example sentences
  • If you are planning - or forced - to ride out a storm at anchor, you must deploy your tackle so you are riding on at least two huge or three really big anchors at all times.
  • Few lobstermen fish in midwinter, when lines, decks, and tackles get coated with ice.
  • Turning, he could see the mast of the schooner held by the tackle.
3 American Football & Rugby An act of seizing and stopping a player in possession of the ball by knocking them to the ground.
Example sentences
  • He does not break as many tackles as one might expect from a player of his dimensions.
  • Can a player breaking tackles on the fringes of the college football universe win the game's ultimate prize?
  • Everybody is athletic enough to make that last-ditch tackle or cover that gap when someone is a bit tired.
block, interception, challenge, attack
3.1(In soccer and other games) an act of taking the ball, or attempting to take the ball, from an opponent.
Example sentences
  • He puts a stop to the Swede's gallop with a fine tackle.
  • He is much better when he can read the play, flow to the ball and make the tackle.
  • He took his line ball when needed, he made some big tackles and was effective with ball in hand.
4 American Football A player who lines up inside the end along the line of scrimmage.
Example sentences
  • The team is serious about drafting a right offensive tackle in the early rounds.
  • Without a legitimate starting defensive tackle on their roster, the Eagles must get one.
  • The team's focus now is finding a starting left tackle in the draft.


[with object]
1Make determined efforts to deal with (a problem or difficult task): police have launched an initiative to tackle rising crime
More example sentences
  • Regardless of the magnitude of the task, tackle it with all of your heart, soul and mind.
  • Firefighters successfully tackled the blaze before being called back when it became apparent the roof was going to collapse.
  • And that's where the new academy leadership is tackling this problem head-on.
come to grips with, address, get to work on, set one's hand to, approach, take on, attend to, see to, try to sort out;
deal with, take care of, handle, manage
informal have a crack at, have a go at
1.1 American Football & Rugby Stop the forward progress of (the ball carrier) by seizing them and knocking them to the ground.
Example sentences
  • As of 1956, grabbing was legal exclusively for tackling the ball-carrier.
  • When the Sooners ran directly at him, which was not that often, most of the time he shed his blocker and tackled the ballcarrier for a short gain.
  • Then imagine moving in to tackle an oncoming ballcarrier who is bigger.
1.2chiefly Soccer Try to take the ball from (an opponent) by intercepting them.
Example sentences
  • Today, contemporary hockey has few who can hold a candle to Tirkey when it comes to tackling, intercepting and despatching the ball to safety zones.
  • He is a very good at tackling and winning the ball back if it is lost.
  • The Armagh team were tackling very hard, making the Limerick men fight for every ball.
confront, face up to, take on, contend with, challenge, attack;
seize, grab, grapple with, intercept, block, stop;
bring down, floor, fell
informal have a go at



Pronunciation: /ˈtak(ə)lər/
Example sentences
  • The second row left the defence for dead with a 30-metre gallop, brushing off at least three would-be tacklers in the process.
  • The scoring began again soon after the restart as Rowe pushed off three tacklers for his second try and Broadhurst also forced his way over.
  • Shrugging off three tacklers, he raced for the line only to be held a metre short but from the ruck the ball was recycled for the waiting Ashman to score.


Middle English (denoting equipment for a specific task): probably from Middle Low German takel, from taken 'lay hold of'. Early senses of the verb (late Middle English) described the provision and handling of a ship's equipment.

Words that rhyme with tackle

cackle, crackle, grackle, hackle, jackal, mackle, shackle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tack·le

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