Word of the Day: tackle

Word of the Day
June 2, 2016
tackle (noun, verb)
/ˈtækəl/  sound icon
A football player tackling his opponent
As a verb, tackle means 'to start working or being able to work on a hard and difficult issue or problem' or 'to deal with a difficult person.' In sports, like rugby or American football, it means 'to force a player to the ground.' As a noun, a tackle is the act of tackling someone, as is done in sports, and also a player's position in American football. Tackle is also any system that uses pulleys or ropes to lift or lower objects. As an uncountable noun, it is the equipment used for fishing.


Example sentences
The politicians know they need to tackle the refugee crisis.
Someone has to talk to the boss about the new office equipment we need, but she hates spending money, so I'm not tackling her!
The player tackled his opponent at the 20-yard line.
The other team's right tackle stopped our quarterback in his tracks on the first down.
The builder used a block and tackle to lift the bricks to the upper stories of the building.
The fisherman collected his tackle and set off for a day's fishing.


Words often used with tackle
tackle somebody to the ground: in contact sports, a player may try to get the ball by taking hold of an opponent and wrestling him/her to the ground. This expression is also used to describe someone being wrestled to the ground when no ball is involved, for instance, to prevent that person carrying out an unwanted act. Example: "The police officer tackled the robber to the ground and put handcuffs on her."
Did you know?
When used to talk about starting to work on a problem or issue, tackle is synonymous with deal with. It is different from solve because tackling an issue means you are trying to find a solution, not that you have found one or even necessarily that you will.
Other forms
tackler (noun)
Tackle dates back to the first half of the 13th century. It comes from Middle Low German, and its origin may be similar to take. Its first use in Middle English, takel, meant 'gear' or 'apparatus.' It wasn't used as a verb until the first half of the 14th century. The first time it was used in sports wasn't until the end of the 19th century.
Tackle in other languages
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