Definition of tactical in English:


Syllabification: tac·ti·cal
Pronunciation: /ˈtaktikəl


  • 1Of, relating to, or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end: as a tactical officer in the field he had no equal
    More example sentences
    • That, he says, was the basis upon which the squad was chosen, rather than with a specific tactical plan in place.
    • Thus, they determine the feasibility of strategic and tactical plans.
    • The result is usually a plan focused at the tactical level driven by the Defense Department toward an exit strategy.
  • 1.1(Of bombing or weapons) done or for use in immediate support of military or naval operations. Often contrasted with strategic.
    More example sentences
    • The depot is the Army's center of technical excellence for air defense and tactical missile ground support equipment.
    • Washington was not aware of the presence of these tactical nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Cuba.
    • He announced to the world the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba to house tactical nuclear weapons.
  • 1.2(Of a person or their actions) showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action: in a tactical retreat, she moved into a hotel with her daughters
    More example sentences
    • In tactical planning on strategic and key issues for the country we can rely for a common position on parties from the left to the right.
    • Perhaps Shakespeare felt that a judicious tactical retreat following rehearsal criticism was in order, but that does not brand the line a mistake.
    • Increasingly, data are a vital component in strategic and tactical planning.
    calculated, planned, strategic; prudent, politic, diplomatic, judicious, shrewd, cunning, artful



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • It is important that school inspectors deal with this situation more tactically to root out mismanagement therein.
  • Counterinsurgency warfare is strategically and tactically difficult.
  • We've not seen that in great numbers but if it was to occur it would be a serious problem tactically for the coalition.


late 16th century (in the sense 'relating to military or naval tactics'): from Greek taktikos (see tactic) + -al.

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