from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The equipment used in a particular activity, especially in fishing; gear.
  • noun Nautical A system of ropes and blocks for raising and lowering weights of rigging and pulleys for applying tension.
  • noun A rope and its pulley.
  • noun The act of stopping an opposing player carrying the ball, especially by forcing the opponent to the ground, as in football or Rugby.
  • noun The act of obstructing a player in order to cause loss of possession of the ball, as in soccer.
  • noun One of two offensive linemen positioned between the guard and the end on either side of the ball.
  • noun One of two defensive linemen positioned to the inside of either end.
  • noun Tackle football.
  • intransitive verb To grab hold of and wrestle with (an opponent).
  • intransitive verb To stop (an opponent carrying the ball), especially by forcing the opponent to the ground.
  • intransitive verb To obstruct (a player with the ball) in order to cause loss of possession of the ball.
  • intransitive verb To engage or deal with.
  • intransitive verb To harness (a horse).
  • intransitive verb To tackle an opponent in possession of the ball.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A watch-tackle purchase used for stretching the backbone of an awning.
  • noun A device or appliance for grasping or clutching an object, connected with means for holding, moving, or manipulating it.
  • noun Hence A mechanism, or apparatus in general, for applying the power of purchase in manipulating, shifting, raising, or lowering objects or materials; a rope and pulley-block, or a combination of ropes and blocks working together, or any similar contrivance for aid in lifting or controlling anything: used either definitely or indefinitely.
  • noun The windlass and its appurtenances, as used for hoisting ore from small depths; also, in general, the cages or kibbles, with their chains and hooks, for raising ore or coal.
  • noun Equipment or gear in general; a combination of appliances: used of arms and armor, harness, anglers' outfit (see fishing-tackle), many mechanical devices, etc.
  • noun The act of tackling; a seizing or grasping; grasp or hold, as of an opponent in foot-ball.
  • noun Either one of two players in the rush-line in foot-ball, stationed next to the end rushers. See rusher, 2.
  • noun Tackles formerly used in heaving down a ship, to keep her from being canted over too much.
  • noun See rolling-tackle.
  • To attach by tackle or tackling; make fast to something.
  • Specifically To hitch; harness.
  • To ensnare, as with cords or tackle; entangle.
  • To close or shut with or as if with a fastening; lock; seclude.
  • To furnish with tackle; equip with appliances, as a ship.
  • To attack or fasten upon, in the widest sense; set to work upon in any way; undertake to master, persuade, solve, perform, and so forth: as, to tackle a bully; to tackle a problem.
  • In foot-ball, to seize and stop, as a player while running with the ball: as, he was tackled when within a few feet of the goal.
  • To make an attack or seizure; specifically, to get a grasp or hold, as upon an opponent in foot-ball, to prevent him from running with the ball.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Apparatus for raising or lowering heavy weights, consisting of a rope and pulley blocks; sometimes, the rope and attachments, as distinct from the block, in which case the full appratus is referred to as a block and tackle.
  • noun Any instruments of action; an apparatus by which an object is moved or operated; gear; ; formerly, specifically, weapons.
  • noun (Naut.) The rigging and apparatus of a ship; also, any purchase where more than one block is used.
  • noun See the Note under Pulley.
  • noun See under Fishing, a.
  • noun (Naut.) anchors, cables, etc.
  • noun the apparatus or appliances for hauling cannon in or out.
  • noun the rope, or rather the end of the rope, of a tackle, to which the power is applied.
  • noun (Naut.) a small tackle to pull down the tacks of the principal sails.
  • noun (Ropemaking) a board, frame, or post, at the end of a ropewalk, for supporting the spindels, or whirls, for twisting the yarns.
  • noun (Football) An act of tackling{4}.
  • noun (Football) One of two linemen on a football team, occupying a position between the guard and an end; also, the position played by such a tackle.
  • transitive verb To supply with tackle.
  • transitive verb colloq. To fasten or attach, as with a tackle; to harness.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English takel, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; perhaps akin to Middle Dutch taken, to seize, grasp.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English takel ("gear, apparatus"), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German takel ("ship's rigging"), perhaps related to Middle Dutch taken ("to grasp, seize"). Akin to Danish takkel ("tackle"), Swedish tackel ("tackle"). More at take.


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  • Contronymic in the sense: delay vs. expedite, get started.

    January 27, 2007

  • = to deal with

    April 27, 2010