Definition of tackle in English:


Syllabification: tack·le
Pronunciation: /ˈtakəl


  • 2A mechanism consisting of ropes, pulley blocks, hooks, or other things for lifting heavy objects.
    More 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.
  • 2.1The running rigging and gear used to work a boat’s sails.
    More 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 Football & Rugby An act of seizing and stopping a player in possession of the ball by knocking them to the ground.
    More 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.
    More 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 Football A player who lines up inside the end along the line of scrimmage.
    More 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] Back to top  
  • 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 Football & Rugby Stop the forward progress of (the ball carrier) by seizing them and knocking them to the ground.
    More 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.
    More 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/
More 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.

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