Definition of tackle in English:



  • 1mass noun The equipment required for a task or sport.

    ‘fishing tackle’
    • ‘The terminal tackle is heavy to minimise the effort in casting and to keep the soft bait on the hook.’
    • ‘Also carried were a small life raft and small tent plus some fishing tackle, and a bottle of chemicals to ward off mosquitoes.’
    • ‘Then she began to make out dim shapes that in a few moments revealed themselves to be crates, tackle, ropes, barrels, and hooks.’
    • ‘My tackle tends to be much heavier than in Summer as I often have a wind blowing into my face.’
    • ‘Was it true that there were fishing tackle not used?’
    • ‘The other way to utilize your light tackle is fishing from your dinghy.’
    • ‘They are a beautifully marked silver and gold and make for great sport on light fly tackle.’
    • ‘If you choose to take your own tackle for boat fishing then you need fairly hefty gear.’
    • ‘It looks like the first few pegs downstream of the weir are the ones to target for big fish with some heavy tackle required for the fast and snaggy water.’
    • ‘Thankfully, because of the heavy tackle and the skill of the boat men you get most of your lures back undamaged.’
    • ‘Since then, like a lot of anglers in recent years, he's been hooked by antique tackle as well.’
    • ‘A reasonable head of smaller fish, including Roach and Rudd offers the chance of good sport on light tackle.’
    • ‘Over the winter I have equipped myself with tackle suitable for catching large pike.’
    • ‘Evening dresses lived in the foyer closet of all places and fishing tackle, liquor bottles, and fertilizers were stored in the garage closet.’
    • ‘The back portion of the hardware store was devoted to guns and fishing tackle.’
    • ‘There were many bargains to choose from which included, shotgun cartridges, fishing tackle and animal foods.’
    • ‘Remember to leave all that heavy tackle at home and to travel as light as possible.’
    • ‘A shortage of cutting tools and tackle seem to be holding them up.’
    • ‘As I walk toward the car, she is handed a steel box of fishing tackle, small but heavy, requiring two hands to manage.’
    • ‘We're calling on people to send us their old poles, tackle, and other fishing gear so that we can use it in our demonstrations and other Fish Empathy Project endeavors.’
    gear, equipment, apparatus, outfit, kit, rig, hardware
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British humorous A man's genitals.
  • 2A mechanism consisting of ropes, pulley blocks, hooks, or other things for lifting heavy objects.

    • ‘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.’
    system of pulleys, hoisting gear, pulley, hoist, block and tackle, crane, winch, davit, windlass, sheave
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The running rigging and pulleys used to work a boat's sails.
      • ‘Turning, he could see the mast of the schooner held by the tackle.’
      • ‘Then came the call of one of the local sailors who was fixing the tackle on the side of the ship.’
      • ‘Few lobstermen fish in midwinter, when lines, decks, and tackles get coated with ice.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3Hockey Soccer
    An act of playing the ball, or attempting to do so, when it is in the possession of an opponent.

    ‘he was only prevented from scoring by 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.’
    • ‘Farmer's at his best when he's grinding out the yards between the tackles, but he possesses the moves to make anyone miss.’
    • ‘He puts a stop to the Swede's gallop with a fine tackle.’
    • ‘Wiltord runs at Cisse and is relieved of the ball by a wonderful tackle from Cisse, who's having a fantastic game.’
    1. 3.1Rugby American Football An act of seizing and attempting to stop a player in possession of the ball.
      • ‘Every crunching tackle was cheered, every spinning pass applauded.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Healy put in a superb crunching tackle in the first few minutes that set the tone for the evening.’
      • ‘He does not break as many tackles as one might expect from a player of his dimensions.’
      interception, challenge, block, attack
      View synonyms
  • 4American Football
    A player who lines up next to the end along the line of scrimmage.

    • ‘The team's focus now is finding a starting left tackle in the draft.’
    • ‘After that, he'll probably be the top backup tackle.’
    • ‘However, he lacks the speed and moves to beat top tackles off the edge in pass-rushing situations.’
    • ‘Without a legitimate starting defensive tackle on their roster, the Eagles must get one.’
    • ‘The team is serious about drafting a right offensive tackle in the early rounds.’


  • 1Make determined efforts to deal with (a problem or difficult task)

    ‘police have launched an initiative to tackle rising crime’
    • ‘To date, Maryland has successfully tackled the issue of transferring an occupational associate's degree.’
    • ‘A network of experts is being set up across the country to tackle bullying in schools.’
    • ‘He believes that the problem must be tackled at ground level first.’
    • ‘She is backing the Safer Streets Coalition which is calling for more Government action to tackle speeding.’
    • ‘I'm more inclined to suppose that the misadventures arise piecemeal, needing to be tackled on a case-by-case basis.’
    • ‘The European Commission has outlined how this problem is being tackled at a European level.’
    • ‘The district administration is also in the process of formulating some plans for effectively tackling the issue.’
    • ‘Our crews tackled the fire inside and found upstairs three young children.’
    • ‘Different areas and tasks are tackled on a weekly basis.’
    • ‘The officers involved were traffic police, but they are responsible for tackling all crimes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without the rise, the government will not tackle child poverty, it says.’
    • ‘Regardless of the magnitude of the task, tackle it with all of your heart, soul and mind.’
    • ‘Road safety should be tackled with the same enthusiasm as the firearm issue is now - systematically and with purpose.’
    • ‘The authority is already taking steps to tackle flooding across the district, he added.’
    • ‘Police see the scheme as a way to empower communities to tackle speeding hot spots.’
    • ‘Firefighters were already tackling another blaze just 200 yards away at Basildon railway station.’
    • ‘Thirty firefighters tackled the blaze which set light to more than 100 scrap cars.’
    • ‘The measures were introduced as part of a drive to tackle soaring levels of anti-social behaviour.’
    get to grips with, apply oneself to, address oneself to, address, set about, go about, get to work at, take forward, busy oneself with, set one's hand to, grapple with, approach, take on, attend to, see to, throw oneself into, try to solve, try to deal with, try to cope with, try to sort out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Initiate discussion with (someone) about a disputed or sensitive issue.
      ‘a young man tackled him over why the council had spent money on a swimming pool’
      • ‘He said he would defend anyone's right to tackle another person on a issue but nobody was entitled to act the way that he had.’
      • ‘She's tackling him for, well tackling her on the issue of productivity.’
      • ‘During the discussion none of the councillors tackled him about the remarks.’
      • ‘He made the promise as the Evening Telegraph went to Downing Street to tackle him on the issue.’
      confront, speak to, face, face up to, initiate a discussion with, discuss something with, interview, question, cross-examine
      View synonyms
  • 2Hockey Soccer
    Try to take the ball from (an opponent) by intercepting them.

    ‘the first scoring chance came when Orrell tackled Webb’
    no object ‘he tackled well and covered expertly’
    • ‘He is a very good at tackling and winning the ball back if it is lost.’
    • ‘He was tackled twice, he stayed on his feet and he conjured up a goal.’
    • ‘I felt he should have gone off after the first time he was injured as he is trying to prove that he is as strong as he was before and is tackling people he doesn't need to tackle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Armagh team were tackling very hard, making the Limerick men fight for every ball.’
    intercept, rugby-tackle, challenge, block, stop, attack
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Rugby American Football Try to stop the forward progress of (the ball carrier) by seizing them and knocking them to the ground.
      ‘the rules state that there must be no pressure scrums or tough tackling’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As of 1956, grabbing was legal exclusively for tackling the ball-carrier.’
      • ‘A normal quarterback does not lower his head and bull forward like a fullback when being tackled.’
      • ‘He was last night found guilty of transgressing rugby rules when he tackled an opponent without the ball and has been suspended for six weeks.’


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.