Definition of


  1. (noun, act) sailing a zigzag course
  2. (noun, act) (nautical) the act of changing tack
  3. (noun, artifact) (nautical) a line (rope or chain) that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind
  4. (noun, artifact) gear for a horse
  5. (noun, artifact) a short nail with a sharp point and a large head
  6. (noun, location) the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails
  7. (verb, change) reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)
  8. (verb, contact) fix to; attach
  9. (verb, contact) sew together loosely, with large stitches
  10. (verb, contact) fasten with tacks
  11. (verb, creation) create by putting components or members together
    He tacked together some verses
    They set up a committee
  12. (verb, motion) turn into the wind
    The boat tacked

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Tack

  1. "clasp, hook, fastener," 1296, from O.N.Fr. taque "nail, pin, peg," probably from a Gmc. source (cf. M.Du. tacke "twig, spike," Low Ger. takk "tine, pointed thing," Ger. Zacken "sharp point, tooth, prong"); perhaps related to tail. Meaning "small, sharp nail with a flat head" is attested from 1463. Verb sense of "to attach as a supplement" (with sugg… more
  2. "horse's harness, etc.," 1924, shortening of tackle in sense of "equipment." Tack in a non-equestrian sense as a shortening of tackle is recorded in dialect from 1777. more
  3. "food," 1833, perhaps a shortening and special use of tackle in the sense of "gear." Hard-tack was originally "ship's biscuit," soft-tack being bread. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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