Definition of tactful in English:



  • Having or showing skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

    ‘they need a tactful word of advice’
    • ‘The tactful use of his skills and a clear understanding of the game have made this young man an instant favourite with the crowds in an alien land.’
    • ‘You're graceful, poised, tactful and exude quite a refined, princess-like presence.’
    • ‘Some people are going to be disappointed, so I have been as tactful and constructive as possible.’
    • ‘Maxwell was apparently tired of the tactful, diplomatic route Ralph was always preaching to him.’
    • ‘So it would appear that from now on I am going to have to be more tactful and diplomatic in my meanderings.’
    • ‘The agent was one of the most tactful and discreet people that I have ever met in my life.’
    • ‘Janice, being the tactful veterinarian that I have grown to admire, calmly explained the situation to me in practical terms.’
    • ‘On my way from the lobby I had been musing over a tactful way to approach the interview.’
    • ‘Do you have suggestions on how to handle the power balance or for tactful ways to request what I want?’
    • ‘These are the questions at the centre of the author's tactful, patient investigations.’
    • ‘He must be dignified, he must be tactful and considerate of feelings and of every living creature he sees.’
    • ‘If you want to be kind, courteous, gracious and civil, and tactful, God bless you.’
    • ‘Be a catalyst for change by letting your actions and voices be heard in a diplomatic and tactful manner.’
    • ‘Thus, it is crucial that one be tactful and select his words wisely.’
    • ‘I'm not sure I could be as tactful about the whole thing as he is, but when it comes down to it, I guess free speech is what we fight for.’
    • ‘Clint and his team were most tactful in giving advice on tactics and fish handling.’
    • ‘I want to ask him about it, but can't think of a tactful way of doing it.’
    • ‘His political opinions were on the Right, but he was tactful in not voicing them in the presence of people he knew to be of a different inclination.’
    • ‘Donna may feel conflicted between being tactful and being direct.’
    • ‘The issue was not broached in the most articulate or tactful manner, but it did generate quite a bit of discussion on our opinion pages.’
    considerate, sensitive, understanding, thoughtful, delicate, diplomatic, discreet, discerning, judicious, politic, perceptive, subtle, careful, treating someone with kid gloves, treating something with kid gloves
    courteous, cordial, polite, decorous, seemly, respectful
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