How Do You Spell TACK?

Pronunciation: [tˈak] (IPA)

The word "tack" can be spelled in two different ways depending on its usage. When referring to a type of horse equipment, it is spelled with a "ck" at the end. However, when used as a sailing term to describe a change of direction, it is spelled with a single "k". The IPA phonetic transcription for this word is /tæk/, with the "a" pronounced as the short vowel sound. The spelling of this word can often be confusing, but it is important to use the correct spelling depending on the context.

TACK Meaning and Definition

  1. Tack, as a noun, refers to a small, sharp pointed nail or pin with a flat, broad head. It is commonly made of metal and commonly used in carpentry, upholstery, or for attaching fabrics or other materials to surfaces.

    As a verb, tack refers to the act of fastening or securing something in place using a tack. For instance, one may tack a poster onto a bulletin board using several tacks.

    The term "tack" can also describe a course or direction taken, especially when sailing against the wind. In this context, when a sailboat navigates upwind, it must take a zigzag course by changing the direction in a series of maneuvers. Each change in direction is called a tack, helping the boat make progress by using the wind at different angles on alternate sides of the boat.

    In a metaphorical sense, the term "tack" can also refer to a change in strategy or approach to achieve a desired goal. For example, when facing a difficult problem, one might need to change tack and adopt a different approach or perspective to find a solution.

    Furthermore, in some contexts, "tack" can denote a small, sharp, or critical remark or criticism directed towards someone. Typically, it is expressed in a straightforward or frank manner, without beating around the bush.

    Overall, the term "tack" encompasses a range of meanings, from a small nail or pin used for fastening, to a change in direction, strategy, or even a small criticism.

  2. • A very small nail with a flat head-so called from being used to fasten something on or to another, as a carpet on a floor; the course of a ship with reference to the position of the sails; the rope which fastens the foremost corner of the sail to the windward side of a ship, which is said to tack in going against a wind when the tack is changed from one side to the other; in Scot., a lease of land, &c.
    • To attach or fasten slightly; to change the course of a ship by shifting the tacks and position of the sails.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for TACK *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for TACK

Etymology of TACK

The word "tack" has multiple etymologies depending on its usage.

1. Tack (noun) meaning a small, short nail or pin:

- This usage of "tack" comes from the Middle English word "tak" or "takke". It can be traced back to the Old English word "tæcga" meaning a hook or fastening, which ultimately derives from the Proto-Germanic word "tagojan", meaning "to fasten".

2. Tack (noun) meaning a course or direction of a sailing ship relative to the wind:

- This usage of "tack" comes from nautical terminology. It originated from the Old Norse word "taka", meaning to take or grasp. In sailing, "tacking" is a maneuver where a sailing ship changes its course by turning the bow through the wind.

Idioms with the word TACK

  • change (your) tack The idiom "change (your) tack" means to alter one's strategy or approach in order to achieve a different result or handle a situation in a more effective way. It derives from the nautical term "tack," which refers to changing the direction of a sailing ship by turning the bow into the wind.
  • tack sth onto sth To "tack something onto something" is an idiomatic expression that means to add or append something additional or extra to an existing object or idea. It often implies the act of attaching or combining elements that are not inherently related or included originally.
  • (as) sharp as a tack The idiom "(as) sharp as a tack" is used to describe someone who is highly intelligent, quick-witted, or mentally alert. It implies that the person is very astute, perceptive, and able to think or respond quickly and effectively in various situations.
  • be as sharp as a tack The idiom "be as sharp as a tack" means to be highly intelligent, perceptive, or quick-witted. It implies that someone has a keen and astute intellect, able to grasp concepts or situations swiftly and accurately.
  • tack on sth The idiom "tack on something" typically means to add or attach something to an existing item, plan, or situation, often without thorough consideration or planning. It can also refer to adding an additional cost or fee to something.
  • change tack The idiom "change tack" means to alter one's course of action or plan in order to achieve a different or more favorable outcome. It refers to the nautical term, where changing the direction of a sailing boat by shifting the position of the sails (tacking) can help navigate against the wind.
  • tack sth up The idiom "tack sth up" means to affix or attach something, usually by using a tack or pin, to a wall, bulletin board, or other surface. It typically refers to displaying or hanging something in a temporary or informal manner.
  • tack sth down The idiom "tack something down" means to secure, fasten, or fix something firmly in its place using nails, tacks, or similar means. It is often used when referring to attaching loose or unstable objects to a surface to prevent them from moving or shifting.
  • tack something onto something The idiom "tack something onto something" means to add something extra or attach something to an existing object, idea, or situation. It typically implies adding something without much thought or consideration, often as an afterthought or to address a specific need.
  • a change of tack The idiom "a change of tack" refers to a shift in approach, strategy, or direction in order to achieve a different or more favorable outcome. It implies altering one's course of action or making a different plan when faced with difficulties or when the current approach is not yielding the desired results.
  • coffin tack The idiom "coffin tack" refers to a final, conclusive action or decision that guarantees failure or demise. It implies an irreversible outcome, typically in a negative sense.
  • flat as a tack The idiom "flat as a tack" means completely flat or lacking in any form of elevation or prominence.

Similar spelling words for TACK

Plural form of TACK is TACKS

Conjugate verb Tack


I would have tacked
you would have tacked
he/she/it would have tacked
we would have tacked
they would have tacked
I would have tack
you would have tack
he/she/it would have tack
we would have tack
they would have tack


I would have been tacking
you would have been tacking
he/she/it would have been tacking
we would have been tacking
they would have been tacking


I would tack
you would tack
he/she/it would tack
we would tack
they would tack


I would be tacking
you would be tacking
he/she/it would be tacking
we would be tacking
they would be tacking


I will tack
you will tack
he/she/it will tack
we will tack
they will tack


I will be tacking
you will be tacking
he/she/it will be tacking
we will be tacking
they will be tacking


I will have tacked
you will have tacked
he/she/it will have tacked
we will have tacked
they will have tacked


I will have been tacking
you will have been tacking
he/she/it will have been tacking
we will have been tacking
they will have been tacking


you tack
we let´s tack


to tack


I was tacking
you were tacking
he/she/it was tacking
we were tacking
they were tacking




I had tacked
you had tacked
he/she/it had tacked
we had tacked
they had tacked


I had been tacking
you had been tacking
he/she/it had been tacking
we had been tacking
they had been tacking


I tack
you tack
he/she/it tacks
we tack
they tack


I am tacking
you are tacking
he/she/it is tacking
we are tacking
they are tacking




I have tacked
you have tacked
he/she/it has tacked
we have tacked
they have tacked


I have been tacking
you have been tacking
he/she/it has been tacking
we have been tacking
they have been tacking


he/she/it tack


I tacked
you tacked
he/she/it tacked
we tacked
they tacked


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