• The ever reliable Brickley; A football thoroughbred--Tack Hardwick
    The ever reliable Brickley; A football thoroughbred--Tack Hardwick
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v tack reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)
    • v tack fix to; attach "append a charm to the necklace"
    • v tack sew together loosely, with large stitches "baste a hem"
    • v tack fasten with tacks "tack the notice on the board"
    • v tack create by putting components or members together "She pieced a quilt","He tacked together some verses","They set up a committee"
    • v tack turn into the wind "The sailors decided to tack the boat","The boat tacked"
    • n tack sailing a zigzag course
    • n tack (nautical) the act of changing tack
    • n tack (nautical) a line (rope or chain) that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind
    • n tack gear for a horse
    • n tack a short nail with a sharp point and a large head
    • n tack the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Tacking the upper at the seam Tacking the upper at the seam

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If your shoes squeak, it simply means that two layers of leather in the sole are rubbing together. Driving a tack through the sole will often remove the squeak.
    • Tack (Scots Law) A contract by which the use of a thing is set, or let, for hire; a lease.
    • Tack A peculiar flavor or taint; as, a musty tack .
    • Tack (Naut) A rope used to hold in place the foremost lower corners of the courses when the vessel is closehauled (see Illust. of Ship); also, a rope employed to pull the lower corner of a studding sail to the boom.
    • Tack A small, short, sharp-pointed nail, usually having a broad, flat head.
    • Tack A stain; a tache.
    • Tack Confidence; reliance.
    • Tack Especially, to attach or secure in a slight or hasty manner, as by stitching or nailing; as, to tack together the sheets of a book; to tack one piece of cloth to another; to tack on a board or shingle; to tack one piece of metal to another by drops of solder.
    • Tack In parliamentary usage, to add (a supplement) to a bill; to append; -- often with on or to; as, to tack on a non-germane appropriation to a bill.
    • Tack That which is attached; a supplement; an appendix. See Tack v. t., 3. "Some tacks had been made to money bills in King Charles's time."
    • Tack (Naut) The direction of a vessel in regard to the trim of her sails; as, the starboard tack, or port tack ; -- the former when she is closehauled with the wind on her starboard side; hence, the run of a vessel on one tack; also, a change of direction; as, to take a different tack; -- often used metaphorically.
    • Tack (Naut) The part of a sail to which the tack is usually fastened; the foremost lower corner of fore-and-aft sails, as of schooners (see Illust. of Sail).
    • Tack (Naut) To change the direction of (a vessel) when sailing closehauled, by putting the helm alee and shifting the tacks and sails so that she will proceed to windward nearly at right angles to her former course.
    • v. i Tack (Naut) To change the direction of a vessel by shifting the position of the helm and sails; also (as said of a vessel), to have her direction changed through the shifting of the helm and sails. See Tack v. t., 4. "Monk, . . . when he wanted his ship to tack to larboard, moved the mirth of his crew by calling out, “Wheel to the left.”"
    • Tack To fasten or attach. "In hopes of getting some commendam tacked to their sees.""And tacks the center to the sphere."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tack Side: said of a speculator's relationship to the market.
    • n tack A short, sharp-pointed nail or pin, used as a fastener by being driven or thrust-through the material to be fastened into the substance to which it is to be fixed. Tacks are designed to fix in place carpets or other fabrics, flexible leather, cardboard, paper, etc., in such manner as to admit of easy removal. Their most common form is that of the carpet-tack (made in many sizes for various other applications), a short, sharp iron nail with a comparatively large flat head. A tack made for pushing into place by hand is called a thumb-tack, and also, from its use in fastening drawing-paper to a board, a drawing-pin. Double tacks, in the form of staples, are used to fasten down matting.
    • n tack In needlework, a long stitch, usually one of a number intended to hold two pieces of stuff together, preparatory to more thorough sewing. Compare basting.
    • n tack Nautical: A heavy rope used to confine the foremost lower corner of the courses; also, a rope by which the outer lower corner of a studdingsail is pulled out to the end of the boom.
    • n tack The part of a sail to which the tack is fastened, the foremost lower corner of a course, jib, or staysail, or the outer lower corner of a studdingsail.
    • n tack Hence— The course of a ship in relation to the position of her sails: as, the starboard tack, or port tack (the former when she is close-hauled with the wind on her starboard, the latter when close-hauled with the wind on her port side).
    • n tack A temporary change of a few points in the direction of sailing, as to take advantage of a side wind; one of a series of movements of a vessel to starboard and port alternately out of the general line of her course.
    • n tack Hence A determinate course or change of course in general; a tactical line or turn of procedure; a mode of action or conduct adopted or pursued for some specific reason.
    • n tack In plumbing, the fastening of a pipe to a wall or the like, consisting of a strip of lead soldered to the pipe, nailed to the support, and turned back over the nails.
    • n tack Something that is attached or fixed in place, or that holds, adheres, or sticks. Specifically— A shelf; a kind of shelf made of crossed bars of wood suspended from the ceiling, on which to put bacon, etc. Halliwell.
    • n tack The condition of being tacked or fastened; stability; fixedness; firm grasp; reliance. See to hold tack, below.
    • n tack In the arts, an adhesive or sticky condition, as of a partially dried, varnished, painted, or oiled surface; stickiness.
    • n tack In Scots law, a contract by which the use of a thing is let for hire; a lease: as, a tack of land.
    • n tack Hence— Land occupied on lease; a rented farm.
    • n tack Hired pasturage; the renting of pasture for cattle.
    • tack To fasten by tacks; join, attach, or secure by some slight or temporary fastening: as, to tack down a carpet; to tack up a curtain; to tack a shoe to the last; to tack parts of a garment together with pins or by basting preparatory to sewing.
    • tack To attach by some binding force; make a junction or union of; connect; combine: as, to tack a rider to a legislative bill; to tack two leases together.
    • tack In metal-working, to join (pieces) by small patches of solder placed at intervals to hold them in position until the final soldering can be completed.
    • tack To change the course of a ship when sailing by the wind, by turning her head toward the wind and bracing the yards round so that she will sail at the same angle with the wind on the other tack.
    • tack Hence To change one's course; take a new line or direction; shift; veer.
    • tack To attack.
    • n tack A spot; a stain; a blemish.
    • n tack A distinctive taste or flavor; a continuing or abiding smack.
    • n tack Substance; solidity: spoken of the food of cattle and other stock.
    • n tack Bad food.
    • n tack Bad malt liquor.
    • n tack Food in general; fare: as, hard tack, coarse fare; soft tack, good fare.
    • n tack Specifically, among sailors, soldiers, etc., bread, or anything of the bread kind, distinguished as hard tack (or hardtack) and soft tack. See hardtack.
    • n tack A variety of pistol used by the Highlanders of Scotland. See dag, 2.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tack tak a short, sharp nail with a broad head: a fastening, a long temporary stitch: the weather clew or foremost lower corner of any of the courses, or of any sail set with a boom or gaff, or of a flag, also the rope by which such clew or tack is confined or fastened: the course of a ship in reference to the position of her sails: a determinate course, the art of tacking, hence a change of policy, a strategical move: a shelf for drying cheese: term of a lease: adhesiveness, sticky condition, as of varnish, &c
    • v.t Tack to attach or fasten, esp. in a slight manner, as by tacks
    • v.i Tack to change the course or tack of a ship by shifting the position of the sails: to shift one's position, to veer
    • n Tack tak (prov.) any distinctive and permanent flavour.
    • n Tack tak food generally, fare, esp. of the bread kind, as hard tack, soft tack, &c.
    • ***


  • T. S. Eliot
    “Birth, copulation and death. That's all the facts when you come to the brass tacks.”
  • Russel H. Conwell
    Russel H. Conwell
    “No matter what you do, do it to your utmost. I always attribute my success to always requiring myself to do my level best, if only in driving a tack in straight.”


Brass tacks - If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.
Change tack - If you change tack, you use a different method for dealing with something.
Sharp as a tack - (USA) If someone is as sharp as a tack, they are very clever indeed.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. tak, takke, a fastening; akin to D. tak, a branch, twig, G. zacke, a twig, prong, spike, Dan. takke, a tack, spike; cf. also Sw. tagg, prickle, point, Icel. tāg, a willow twig, Ir. taca, a peg, nail, fastening, Gael. tacaid, Armor. & Corn. tach,; perhaps akin to E. take,. Cf. Attach Attack Detach Tag an end, Zigzag


In literature:

Tack after tack brought them further up the bay.
"Priscilla's Spies" by George A. Birmingham
They had made several tacks, but as yet had got not more than half way back to the ship.
"The Three Lieutenants" by W.H.G. Kingston
I move 't we tack over to south'ard of her.
"Vesty of the Basins" by Sarah P. McLean Greene
Desmond was keeping the boat close on the starboard tack, heading away to the southward of west.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
Then on we stood, while our consort had in the meantime tacked and reached the place we had before occupied.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
Presently the canvas blew out, and with tacks on board we stood along the coast.
"Paddy Finn" by W. H. G. Kingston
We made tack after tack till we got up to the whale, which two boats were towing towards us.
"Peter Trawl" by W. H. G. Kingston
Again she tacked, and I was certain she saw us.
"Salt Water" by W. H. G. Kingston
In vain they tacked and wore, and stood backwards and forwards, never losing sight of the harbour's mouth.
"True Blue" by W.H.G. Kingston
Now the ship was put on one tack, now on another, but on each tack she lost ground.
"Roger Willoughby" by William H. G. Kingston

In poetry:

You'd see the last new song of all
Nail'd with four tacks against the wall.
Nay, the whole length of Chevy Chase
Found in his little bulk a place.
"The Cobbler" by William Hutton
"If he leaves you, change your tack,
Follow him close and fetch him back;
When you've hauled him in at last,
Grapple his flipper and hold him fast.
"The Old Cruiser" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Tail-spinning from the shelves of sky
See how it dips and tacks and tosses
To cast a beam in the mind's eye:
Who will count the gains and the losses
On the Day of Jubilo?
"Jubilo" by Allen Tate
'He'll never learn his bark to steer
'Mid passion's sudden, wild career;
Nor try at times to tack or veer
To int'rest's gale,
But hoist the sheet, unaw'd by fear,
Tho' storms prevail.
"The Scottish Muse" by Hector MacNeill
Of what supreme almightie power
Is thy great arm which spans the east and west,
And tacks the centre to the sphere!
By it do all things live their measur'd houre:
We cannot ask the thing, which is not there,
Blaming the shallownesse of our request.
"Prayer (II)" by George Herbert
And who shall cower, who recoil, or choose the craven's tack,
And strain the law (by heroes made) to hold his country back?
Ah, who? Let children lisp his shame and women cry him down
What time our glorious banner waves o'er stormëd tower and town.
"The Lion's Cub" by Maurice Thompson

In news:

An insider with the production crew told us many of the competitors are taking Survivor -like tack in getting everything they can as the cutthroat competition advances.
2 years tacked onto 8 year sentence.
It was a little sign, fairly unassuming, tacked to a pole, but it caught my attention during my walk on Thursday.
Canfield & Tack Expands in Upstate New York by Acquiring Dellas Graphics.
Rose Rodriguez was first arrested in June of last year on perjury, tampering with evidence and theft charges, and more charges were tacked on in June and August of this year.
Organizers say the cost would likely be tacked onto ticket prices.
The arrival of three black bear cubs is a sign of a new tack at the zoo - from austere science to populist fun.
Getting down to brass tacks.
Well, I may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but somebody will have to explain how that is possible.
Centrist Republican Tacks Right in Turbulent Michigan.
The extra $3 fee is tacked on for all new customers who want channel packages above the lowest tier.
Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is trying a new tack when asked about the GOP vice presidential slot: the clam strategy.
The Yellowjackets momentum was noticeably thwarted, allowing the Comets to tack on two more goals from Leo Espinoza and Aldo Villatoro for insurance before the final buzzer.
Available in a wide array of styles, with as many accessories as colors, synthetic tack is long-lasting, low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive.
Real Benefits of Synthetic Tack.

In science:

In this case another canonical factor yn of length one is tacked onto the end and so πk−1 (xn ) = πk−1 (xn−1 ) + 1, all other components being the same; iii. yn is negative and zsyn ∈ M + ∪ {e}.
Busemann points of Artin groups of dihedral type
Moving the ∆−1 all the way to the left, we see that the power of ∆ becomes r − 1, each canonical factor zi ; 1 ≤ i ≤ s is replaced by τ (zi ), and another canonical factor ∆yn of length k − 1 is tacked onto the end.
Busemann points of Artin groups of dihedral type
Tacking into account many constraints at the same time is exactly what a classical many body interaction, or a quantum measurement interaction, does.
The quantum speed up as advanced knowledge of the solution
We will take a slightly different tack here which essentially accomplishes the same estimate but is easier to implement.
Cycle structure of random permutations with cycle weights
This principle states that security should be built in to features, rather than being “tacked-on” at the end of a development cycle.
Functional Programming and Security