Definition of tact in US English:



  • Adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

    ‘the inspector broke the news to me with tact and consideration’
    • ‘You deal with difficult situations efficiently and resolve conflicts with tact.’
    • ‘The office needs tact, sensitivity, and skills of an unusual order.’
    • ‘She had expected the girls to look down their noses at her obvious lack of tact and knowledge of titles and English customs.’
    • ‘She lacked tact and the finesse it took to write something beautiful.’
    • ‘The key to your personal success in this effort is to use poise, grace and tact.’
    • ‘You took the time to approach the issue with a lot more tact.’
    • ‘It is a situation that calls for sensitivity, tact and discretion.’
    • ‘With great tact and skill, he was able to calm the crowd and disperse them.’
    • ‘You're totally honest but know how to deliver any piece of news with kindness, smarts and tact.’
    • ‘Also, saying what you think is not the most useful skill for a job that requires a fair amount of tact.’
    • ‘Even now, he admired the skill and tact with which the review was written.’
    • ‘There's a swath of middle ground to consider, and given reasonable tact and grace you can probably find a spot there.’
    • ‘This kind of development work requires tact and cultural sensitivity.’
    • ‘Helping survivors cope with the trauma needs knowledge and tact.’
    • ‘A unique combination of tact, charm, deportment and sartorial style, he was all one would wish to see in an idol.’
    • ‘I know tact is difficult for you, but kindly refrain from humiliating me further.’
    • ‘She never really knew how to handle delicate situations requiring tact and sincere honesty.’
    • ‘In particular the issue of race was handled with tact and care.’
    • ‘A controversial discussion can turn ugly very quickly, as tact is often a skill acquired at a more advanced language level.’
    • ‘In this context, putting the case for armoured divisions was something that had to be done with skill and tact.’
    sensitivity, understanding, thoughtfulness, consideration, delicacy, diplomacy, discretion, discernment, judgement, prudence, judiciousness, perception, subtlety, wisdom, tactfulness
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Mid 17th century (denoting the sense of touch): via French from Latin tactus ‘touch, sense of touch’, from tangere ‘to touch’.