There are 3 main definitions of tack in English:

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tack1

Syllabification: tack

noun

1A small, sharp, broad-headed nail.
Example sentences
  • In the house, the canisters are good for storing tacks, nails, and small screws.
  • These make great places to store nails, screws, nut, bolts, washers, tacks, and staples.
  • The tack hammers are very small but the actual tacks themselves are very sharp.
Synonyms
1.1North American A thumbtack.
Example sentences
  • Insert map pins, metal tacks, and pushpins with plastic heads to create dots, stripes, and hearts.
  • This wooden tote comes to the rescue by organizing all the necessary implements, including pens, self-adhesive notepads, tacks, and paper dips.
  • ‘You wore labels last year,’ Tiffany said suddenly, looking the tiniest bit disbelieving as she jumped into the conversation, placing her box of tacks down onto her desk.
2A long stitch used to fasten fabrics together temporarily, prior to permanent sewing.
3A method of dealing with a situation or problem; a course of action or policy: as she could not stop him from going she tried another tack and insisted on going with him
More example sentences
  • So he changed tack, keeping the innovative production methods but applying them to better-known repertoire, until he felt he had built up an audience that was loyal to the company.
  • In the summer of 1998, when the Bank was still getting used to independence, it changed tack abruptly from raising rates in the summer to cutting them in the autumn.
  • The first tack, known as Plan A, is the latest version of Ottawa's appeasement strategy.
Synonyms
policy, procedure, technique, tactic, plan, strategy, stratagem;
path, line, angle, direction, course
4 Sailing An act of changing course by turning a vessel’s head into and through the wind, so as to bring the wind on the opposite side.
Example sentences
  • Royal Caribbean has recognized that it is heading for this iceberg, and its captains have ordered a sharp tack.
  • As I approach my first tack, I pull in the main sail.
  • As the pair battled to the finish, Ian immediately tacked off to gain clear wind, but Jonathan timed his next tack well and came back to cover Ian across the line and win the event by half a boat length.
4.1A boat’s course relative to the direction of the wind: the brig bowled past on the opposite tack
More example sentences
  • There was indeed a ship headed in the direction of Dolphin which was still on her southeasterly tack while Indefatigable was now headed northwest.
  • On the water, a yacht on starboard tack has undisputed right-of-way in any confrontation.
  • They steer onto a port tack and begin to sail.
Synonyms
4.2A distance sailed between changes of course.
Example sentences
  • Terrified of turning the boat into a land-yacht, I minced around in the middle of the navigation in uselessly short tacks that took us no appreciable distance against the wind.
  • On the long beat back to Henholme, Fiscal Folly crossed the lake to the west shore, while F for Joy set a course down the east, with the rest of the fleet on shorter tacks in the centre of the lake.
  • On the short windward leg to the finish, Pilgrim drew alongside Naiad, but was then forced to put in a short tack while Naiad was able to hold her line and clinch a deserved second place and victory in the Classic fleet.
5 Sailing A rope for securing the weather clew of a course.
5.1The weather clew of a course, or the lower forward corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
6The quality of being sticky: cooking the sugar to caramel gives tack to the texture

verb

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1 [with object] Fasten or fix in place with tacks: he used the tool to tack down sheets of fiberboard
More example sentences
  • Rigid foam board insulation is tacked onto the exterior sheathing, fortifying the thermal shield.
  • Just tack them to the back of the frame, or glue on with a hot glue gun.
  • Push the panel into the glued surface and use a level to make certain it is plumb before you tack it into position and glue it down permanently.
Synonyms
1.1Fasten (pieces of cloth) together temporarily with long stitches.
Example sentences
  • Fringe two same-sized strips, then stack, tack them together and use as one piece.
  • The seams should be tacked down to avoid chafing.
  • If you think it may get sloppy and peek out you can easily tack it to the shirt body on the front and bottom facing seam lines or into the ribbing seam if ribbing is left at the bottom.
Synonyms
1.2 (tack something on) Add or append something to something already existing: long-term savings plans with some life insurance tacked on
More example sentences
  • Instead, the philosophical bits are tacked on in set speeches - much like in student essays, really.
  • The bill suggests that it will be fairer to lift the excise duty on fuel, rather than tacking the increased cost on to the registration fee.
  • The final settlement could balloon to $130 million after interest and lawyers' fees are tacked on.
Synonyms
add (on), append, join, stick (on)
2 [no object] Sailing Change course by turning a boat’s head into and through the wind. Compare with wear2.
[from the practice of shifting ropes (sense 5 of the noun) to change direction]
Example sentences
  • She was tacking to come around on Indefatigable's starboard side.
  • We sight Northern Caye, our anchorage for the night, on the horizon and tack to starboard.
  • He spotted it, and they quickly tacked over west.
2.1 [with object] Alter the course of (a sailboat).
Example sentences
  • Watching his handpicked crew in action, expertly tacking the boat, it's hard to believe Team Adventure will stand a chance against his well-funded campaign.
  • After another half hour, the wind shifts, and the guys on deck need to tack the boat.
  • This is a good arrangement for some sailors, but tacking the Genoa will require going forward to pull the sail through the slot or furling the Genoa and unfurling it on the new tack.
2.2 [with adverbial of direction] Make a series of changes of course while sailing: she spent the entire night tacking back and forth
More example sentences
  • She points to the left side of the bay, where a small sailing boat is tacking past the tumble of fallen cliff.
  • I had a mental picture of the surface with the sun shining, and sailing boats tacking to and fro.
  • There she tacked east to west in the lee of the island, and reported winds gusting to 60 knots from the west-northwest, and large to moderate seas.

Origin

Middle English (in the general sense 'something that fastens one thing to another'): probably related to Old French tache 'clasp, large nail'.

More
  • tacky from (late 18th century):

    The origin of tacky in the sense ‘sticky’ is from the word tack (Middle English) ‘to fasten lightly’, or for an object that does that job. The origin of this word is obscure. The sense of tacky meaning ‘in poor taste, cheap’ is different, but equally obscure. It was first found at the beginning of the 19th century in the USA meaning a weedy horse. By the late 19th century it was applied to a poor white in some southern states, and had also acquired its modern sense. The shortening tack did not happen until the 1980s. The sense tack for horses equipment is a shortening of tackle.

Phrases

on the port (or starboard) tack

1
Sailing With the wind coming from the port (or starboard) side of the boat.
Example sentences
  • We push on but our mainsail trim needs that runner on the port tack and we drop away a little from the class leaders.
  • The boat will turn almost 180° and you will find yourself back on the port tack you were on before the beginning of the maneuver.
  • It is also easy to just put yourself on a broad reach on the starboard tack any time you wish to use the spinnaker to go downwind.

Derivatives

tacker

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Each contains 100 coasters, three 30-inch pennant strings, 36 party beads, and three wall tackers.
  • Use a tacker or staple gun to secure the layer of plastic below the horizontal screw strips on the sides.
  • Instead of using poisonous glue you could nail it on or use a tacker.

Words that rhyme with tack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

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There are 3 main definitions of tack in English:

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tack2

Syllabification: tack

noun

Equipment used in horseback riding, including the saddle and bridle.
Example sentences
  • New materials will also be used for tack and horse equipment.
  • Too many training methods place too much emphasis on what kind of tack or equipment to use with the trainer conveniently selling that equipment.
  • She passed the tree where the horse's tack was propped and grabbed Hawk's bridle, the silverwork glinting in the moonlight.

Origin

late 18th century (originally dialect in the general sense 'apparatus, equipment'): shortening of tackle. The noun sense dates from the 1920s.

More
  • tacky from (late 18th century):

    The origin of tacky in the sense ‘sticky’ is from the word tack (Middle English) ‘to fasten lightly’, or for an object that does that job. The origin of this word is obscure. The sense of tacky meaning ‘in poor taste, cheap’ is different, but equally obscure. It was first found at the beginning of the 19th century in the USA meaning a weedy horse. By the late 19th century it was applied to a poor white in some southern states, and had also acquired its modern sense. The shortening tack did not happen until the 1980s. The sense tack for horses equipment is a shortening of tackle.

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There are 3 main definitions of tack in English:

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tack3

Line breaks: tack

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

[mass noun] informal
Cheap, shoddy, or tasteless material: this pop will never trivialize itself and be described as cheap tack

Origin

1980s: back-formation from tacky2.

More
  • tacky from (late 18th century):

    The origin of tacky in the sense ‘sticky’ is from the word tack (Middle English) ‘to fasten lightly’, or for an object that does that job. The origin of this word is obscure. The sense of tacky meaning ‘in poor taste, cheap’ is different, but equally obscure. It was first found at the beginning of the 19th century in the USA meaning a weedy horse. By the late 19th century it was applied to a poor white in some southern states, and had also acquired its modern sense. The shortening tack did not happen until the 1980s. The sense tack for horses equipment is a shortening of tackle.

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