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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Most of those who resisted the notion of a radical indeterminacy in nature followed a different tack from Einstein.
▪ But Clinton and Dole have taken a completely different tack.
▪ New Line, the most interesting independent, is taking a different tack.
▪ On a different tack, Republican lawmakers have penned bills that would limit welfare benefits to teen moms.
▪ Questions about the nature of the self have taken different tacks depending on which tradition the questions come from.
▪ In the House of Lords, the argument went off on a rather different tack.
▪ I tried a different tack, beginning with the conscious demotion of sensei.
▪ Once on the new side, the rig should be thrown well forwards to complete the turn on to the new tack.
▪ Last year, Krenning decided to try a new tack.
▪ Then Patrick changed the subject and when they were all away on the new tack he took Rain aside.
▪ But as the elder brother remains silent, his lawyers are preparing a new tack in their fight against murder charges.
▪ Fig 28 Once round on to the new tack, the board is steered on to its new course by leaning the rig forwards.
▪ She wasn't on the wooden horse or in the yard or in the tack room.
▪ Luke could have done with more help, but Umberto had barricaded himself into the tack room with another bottle.
▪ It was past three o'clock, but the tack room light, besieged with huge crashing moths, was still on.
▪ Julia, his bridle, I think, must still be in the tack room.
▪ From the tack room Umberto's snores rent the air.
▪ She turned out the light and reaching for a pitchfork crept towards the tack room.
▪ Our tack room is filled with the smell of leather and saddle soap.
▪ The stable hands eat lunch in the tack room.
▪ It therefore had to change tack, further adding to confusion in governmental policy-making.
▪ In another chamber in the same palace Seigneur Amaury de Craon was also preparing to change tack.
▪ Then he changed tack and asked us if we had any problems with his friends.
▪ They had to change tack, agreed Paul McGee.
▪ Whilst these are small adjustments, Aldus have changed their tack on two other fronts as well.
▪ Then it changed tack, slewing around slightly.
▪ Nigel changed tack and his tone became more accommodating.
▪ You need flexibility to change tack if you are not getting it right.
be on the wrong track/tack
▪ He admitted that he had gotten us off on the wrong tack, and that we'd need to start again.
▪ I feel that this advertising campaign is on completely the wrong tack.
▪ I knew I was on the wrong track when the tall reeds broke to reveal the brown-bellied river.
get down to brass tacks
▪ Bristle brushes, tacks, and candles got similar treatment.
▪ Johnnie found the tacks in the bottom drawer and, whirling on her heels, marched out of the kitchen.
▪ Last year, Krenning decided to try a new tack.
▪ Once on the new side, the rig should be thrown well forwards to complete the turn on to the new tack.
▪ She wasn't on the wooden horse or in the yard or in the tack room.
▪ The horse was immaculate, mane braided, tack buffed to perfection.
▪ The emergency gas cans might tack on an-other fifty.
▪ She tacked on to me because I was useful.
▪ But officials are hoping that the yearlong grace period tacked on last year will mean no last-minute crush this year.
▪ Next day he would come with a rough square tacked on to the inside.
▪ Johnson tacked on an extra $ 500 because Alomar also missed a team banquet in April.
▪ It was basically a puppet, made of yellow cloth with some purple and blue rags tacked on.
▪ A few charcoal sketches were tacked to the walls.
▪ Always nice that they tack a little contest on to the end of a week like this.
▪ Environmental protection can not be tacked on to the end of industrial development.
▪ Seagate Technology tacked on 7 / 8 to 47 3 / 4, having traded as high as 49 in the session.
▪ Then firmly tack the seam, leaving the needles in place, to hold the layers together.
▪ They hung at the end of slender wrists and looked as if they had been tacked on to the wrong person.
▪ They would search the woods behind the house, and Nockerd would tack the chicken wire tighter around the cage.
▪ When all the pleats have been tacked in place, check that the finished width equals the length of the valance rail.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tack \Tack\, v. i. (Naut.) To change the direction of a vessel by shifting the position of the helm and sails; also (as said of a vessel), to have her direction changed through the shifting of the helm and sails. See Tack, v. t., 4.

Monk, . . . when he wanted his ship to tack to larboard, moved the mirth of his crew by calling out, ``Wheel to the left.''


Tack \Tack\, n. [From an old or dialectal form of F. tache. See Techy.]

  1. A stain; a tache. [Obs.]

  2. [Cf. L. tactus.] A peculiar flavor or taint; as, a musty tack. [Obs. or Colloq.]


Tack \Tack\, n. [OE. tak, takke, a fastening; akin to D. tak a branch, twig, G. zacke a twig, prong, spike, Dan. takke a tack, spike; cf. also Sw. tagg prickle, point, Icel. t[=a]g a willow twig, Ir. taca a peg, nail, fastening, Gael. tacaid, Armor. & Corn. tach; perhaps akin to E. take. Cf. Attach, Attack, Detach, Tag an end, Zigzag.]

  1. A small, short, sharp-pointed nail, usually having a broad, flat head.

  2. That which is attached; a supplement; an appendix. See Tack, v. t.,

  3. --Macaulay. Some tacks had been made to money bills in King Charles's time. --Bp. Burnet. 3. (Naut.)

    1. A rope used to hold in place the foremost lower corners of the courses when the vessel is closehauled (see Illust. of Ship); also, a rope employed to pull the lower corner of a studding sail to the boom.

    2. The part of a sail to which the tack is usually fastened; the foremost lower corner of fore-and-aft sails, as of schooners (see Illust. of Sail).

    3. The direction of a vessel in regard to the trim of her sails; as, the starboard tack, or port tack; -- the former when she is closehauled with the wind on her starboard side; hence, the run of a vessel on one tack; also, a change of direction; as, to take a different tack; -- often used metaphorically.

  4. (Scots Law) A contract by which the use of a thing is set, or let, for hire; a lease.

  5. Confidence; reliance. [Prov. Eng.]

    Tack of a flag (Naut.), a line spliced into the eye at the foot of the hoist for securing the flag to the halyards.

    Tack pins (Naut.), belaying pins; -- also called jack pins.

    To haul the tacks aboard (Naut.), to set the courses.

    To hold tack, to last or hold out.


Tack \Tack\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tacked; p. pr. & vb. n. Tacking.] [Cf. OD. tacken to touch, take, seize, fix, akin to E. take. See Tack a small nail.]

  1. To fasten or attach. ``In hopes of getting some commendam tacked to their sees.''

    And tacks the center to the sphere.

  2. Especially, to attach or secure in a slight or hasty manner, as by stitching or nailing; as, to tack together the sheets of a book; to tack one piece of cloth to another; to tack on a board or shingle; to tack one piece of metal to another by drops of solder.

  3. In parliamentary usage, to add (a supplement) to a bill; to append; -- often with on or to; as, to tack on a non-germane appropriation to a bill.

  4. (Naut.) To change the direction of (a vessel) when sailing closehauled, by putting the helm alee and shifting the tacks and sails so that she will proceed to windward nearly at right angles to her former course.

    Note: In tacking, a vessel is brought to point at first directly to windward, and then so that the wind will blow against the other side.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"clasp, hook, fastener," also "a nail" of some kind, c.1400, from Old North French taque "nail, pin, peg" (Old French tache, 12c., "nail, spike, tack; pin brooch"), probably from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch tacke "twig, spike," Frisian tak "a tine, prong, twig, branch," Low German takk "tine, pointed thing," German Zacken "sharp point, tooth, prong"), from Proto-Germanic *tag-. Meaning "small, sharp nail with a flat head" is attested from mid-15c. The meaning "rope to hold the corner of a sail in place" is first recorded late 15c.


late 14c., "to attach" with a nail, etc., from tack (n.1). Meaning "to attach as a supplement" (with suggestion of hasty or arbitrary proceeding) is from 1680s. Related: Tacked; tacking.


"horse's harness, etc.," 1924, shortening of tackle (n.) in sense of "equipment." Tack in a non-equestrian sense as a shortening of tackle is recorded in dialect from 1777.


"food" in general, but in dialect especially "bad food," and especially among sailors "food of a bread kind," 1833, perhaps a shortening and special use of tackle (n.) in the sense of "gear." But compare tack "taste" (c.1600), perhaps a variant of tact.


"turn a ship's course toward the wind at an angle," 1550s, from tack (n.1) in the ship-rigging sense (the ropes were used to move the vessel temporarily to one side or another of its general line of course, to take advantage of a side-wind); hence tack (n.) "course of conduct or mode of action suited to some purpose" (1670s), from figurative use of the verb (1630s). Related: Tacked; tacking.


Etymology 1 n. 1 A small nail with a flat head. 2 A thumbtack. 3 (context sewing English) A loose seam used to temporarily fasten pieces of cloth. 4 (context nautical English) The lower corner on the leading edge of a sail relative to the direction of the wind. 5 (context nautical English) 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. 7 (context nautical English) 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 (context nautical English) The distance a sailing vessel runs between these maneuvers when working to windward; a board. 9 (context nautical English) 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. saddle, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse '''tack'''. 11 (context manufacturing construction chemistry English) The stickiness of a compound, related to its cohesive and adhesive properties. 12 hardtack. 13 That which is attached; a supplement; an appendix. 14 (context legal Scotland English) A contract by which the use of a thing is set, or let, for hire; a lease. 15 (context obsolete English) Confidence; reliance. vb. 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 (context nautical English) 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. 5 Often paired with "up", to place the tack on a horse. Etymology 2

n. 1 A stain; a tache. 2 (context obsolete English) A peculiar flavour or taint.

  1. v. fasten with tacks; "tack the notice on the board"

  2. turn into the wind; "The sailors decided to tack the boat"; "The boat tacked" [syn: wear round]

  3. make by putting pieces together; "She pieced a quilt"; "He tacked together some verses" [syn: assemble, piece, put together, set up, tack together] [ant: disassemble]

  4. sew together loosely, with large stitches; "baste a hem" [syn: baste]

  5. fix to; attach; "append a charm to the necklace" [syn: append, tag on, tack on, hang on]

  6. reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action) [syn: interchange, switch, alternate, flip, flip-flop]

  1. n. the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails

  2. a short nail with a sharp point and a large head

  3. gear for a horse [syn: stable gear, saddlery]

  4. (nautical) a line (rope or chain) that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind [syn: sheet, mainsheet, weather sheet, shroud]

  5. (nautical) the act of changing tack [syn: tacking]

  6. sailing a zigzag course

Tack (sailing)

In sailing, tack is a part of a sail, and also an alignment with the wind. Tacking or jibing is the maneuver of turning between starboard and port tack.

Tack (square sail)

The tack of a square-rigged sail is a line attached to its lower corner. This is in contrast to the more common fore-and-aft sail, whose tack is a part of the sail itself, the corner which is (possibly semi-permanently) secured to the vessel.

Most square-rig sails have their clews pulled down to the yard of the sail below, and hence the position of the foot of the sail is controlled by the braces of the sail below. These sails do not have tacks. The exception to this scheme is the course, which does not have a yard below it. On this sail, the sheets are led aft, and pull the clews back as well as down, taking the place of the braces of the non-existent sail below. This works perfectly well when the wind is aft of the beam, but as the ship heads further to windward the sheets become less and less effective for controlling the windward clew.

Rather than being a simple "bag of wind" held from behind, the sail must be pulled into a (fairly poor) approximation of an aerofoil, like a modern triangular sail, by hauling the windward leech as far forward and as tight as possible. The sheet is in totally the wrong position to do this and so at this point the tack is brought into play. It is a second line attached to the clew along with the sheet, but the inboard end may be taken to a suitable point well forward of the sail and pulled taut to tighten the leech into some kind of leading edge.

For ease of movement, a tack is usually a single line rather than having blocks. A common arrangement, however, is to have a separate shorter tackle which can be hooked on to apply greater force over the last few feet of movement. This is shown (though not in use) in the picture. The tackle which is just visible stowed behind the mooring bollard can be hooked into the strop or loop (labelled) on the tack in order to tighten the leach further if it should be required.

Tack (sewing)

In sewing, to tack or baste is to make quick, temporary stitching intended to be removed. Tacking is used in a variety of ways:

  • To temporarily hold a seam or trim in place until it can be permanently sewn, usually with a long running stitch made by hand or machine called a tacking stitch or basting stitch.
  • X-shaped tacking stitches are also very common on vents (slits) on the back of men's suit jackets, or at the bottom of kick pleats on a woman's skirt. They are meant to hold the flaps in place during shipping and when on display in the store. They should be removed before being worn; however many buyers do not realize it. Brand labels loosely basted on the outer edges of the sleeves of suits as well as women's winter coats should also be removed after purchase. They are meant to help customers to easily identify the brands in the store without reaching into the collar.
  • To temporarily attach a lace collar, ruffles, or other trim to clothing so that the attached article may be removed easily for cleaning or to be worn with a different garment. For this purpose, tacking stitches are sewn by hand in such a way that they are almost invisible from the outside of the garment.
  • To transfer pattern markings to fabric, or to otherwise mark the point where two pieces of fabric are to be joined. A special loose looped stitch used for this purpose is called a tack or tailor's tack. This is often done through two opposing layers of the same fabric so that when the threads are snipped between the layers the stitches will be in exactly the same places for both layers thus saving time having to chalk and tack the other layer.
  • A basting stitch is essentially a straight stitch, sewn with long stitches and unfinished ends. The basting stitch is used for temporarily holding sandwiched pieces of fabric in place. The stitch is removed after the piece is finished. Often used in quilting or embroidery.

fabric right side.jpg|Basting thread on the right side (outer side) of fabric. pattern to material before cutting.jpg |Tracing paper from a pattern is basted to fabric before a piece is cut. The basting marks are outlined with tailor's chalk. tacks.jpg|Tailor's tacks mark fabric to trace a pattern piece, without attaching tracing paper.


Tack may refer to:

Usage examples of "tack".

By the light of the remaining half, he and Alec located the small tack room and began pulling down saddles and gear.

Since Weston had taken it upon himself to accuse Alker, Cardona decided to try another tack.

He saw the pair over the side and stood watching as the aviso tacked out of the bay.

Over these noncommittal summits the bright eye of the bookseller, as he tacked up the freshly ironed muslin curtains Mrs.

Robin Broadhead had suffered a cerebrovascular accident, all right, but the lie that was tacked on said I was showing steady improvement.

One cachalot killed, it ran at the next, tacked on the spot that it might not miss its prey, going forwards and backwards, answering to its helm, plunging when the cetacean dived into the deep waters, coming up with it when it returned to the surface, striking it front or sideways, cutting or tearing in all directions and at any pace, piercing it with its terrible spur.

The ship started out as an Iranian knock-off of a Shenzhou-B capsule, with a Chinese-type 921 space-station module tacked onto its tail: but the clunky, nineteen-sixties lookalike a glittering aluminum dragonfly mating with a Coke can has a weirdly contoured M2P2 pod strapped to its nose.

The skipper of the coper had, in the meanwhile, by tacking, made an effort to keep his stolen boat in sight, but the night was dark, and the fear of a collision with a trawler made his endeavour a fruitless one, and he was compelled to lay to until daybreak would give him an opportunity of renewing his search.

She had completed the path to the old tack house and was heading back toward Alan and Cozy, the little headlights of the tractor dead in their eyes.

Like using a sledgehammer on thumbtacks: not good for the tacks or the wall, but devastatingly effective anyway.

On the following day we sighted Ancona, but the wind being against us we were compelled to tack about, and we did not reach the port till the second day.

And, boy, did they know from tack downhaul, kicking strap, mainsheet, clew outhaul, topping lift, boom, tack, reefing points, leech, spreader, foresail hanks, shrouds, inner forestay, stanchion, toe rail, and fin keel!

His best drawing so far, done in ink and colored pencils and showing a cross section of the esophageal tract and the airways, was tacked to a rafter above the table.

There may have been in the Army some habitual corner loafer, some fistic champion of the bar-room and brothel, some Terror of Plug Uglyville, who was worth the salt in the hard tack he consumed, but if there were, I did not form his acquaintance, and I never heard of any one else who did.

Across from the bed, tacked up for the view she was sure, was a life-sized poster of Mavis Freestone, exploding into a midair leap, arms extended, grin wide and full of fun.