Definitions for: Tack


[n] sailing a zigzag course
[n] (nautical) the act of changing tack
[n] a line (rope or chain) that regulates the angle at which a sail is set in relation to the wind
[n] gear for a horse
[n] a short nail with a sharp point and a large head
[n] the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails
[v] reverse, as of direction, attitude, or course of action
[v] make by putting pieces together; "She pieced a quilt"; "He tacked together some verses"
[v] fix to; attach; "append a charm to the necklace"
[v] sew together loosely, with large stitches; "baste a hem"
[v] fasten with tacks; "tack the notice on the board"
[v] turn (a boat) into the wind; "The sailors decided to tack tge boat"; "The boat tacked"



Webster (1913) Definition: Tack, n. [From an old or dialectal form of F. tache. See
Techy.]
1. A stain; a tache. [Obs.]

2. [Cf. L. tactus.] A peculiar flavor or taint; as, a musty
tack. [Obs. or Colloq.] --Drayton.


Tack, n. [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. t[=a]g 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.]
1. A small, short, sharp-pointed nail, usually having a
broad, flat head.

2. That which is attached; a supplement; an appendix. See
Tack, v. t., 3. --Macaulay.

Some tacks had been made to money bills in King
Charles's time. --Bp. Burnet.



3. (Naut.)
(a) 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.
(b) 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).
(c) 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.

4. (Scots Law) A contract by which the use of a thing is set,
or let, for hire; a lease. --Burrill.

5. Confidence; reliance. [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell.

Tack of a flag (Naut.), a line spliced into the eye at the
foot of the hoist for securing the flag to the halyards.


Tack pins (Naut.), belaying pins; -- also called {jack
pins}.

To haul the tacks aboard (Naut.), to set the courses.

To hold tack, to last or hold out. --Milton.


Tack, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tacked; p. pr. & vb. n.
Tacking.] [Cf. OD. tacken to touch, take, seize, fix, akin
to E. take. See Tack a small nail.]
1. To fasten or attach. ``In hopes of getting some commendam
tacked to their sees.'' --Swift.

And tacks the center to the sphere. --Herbert.

2. 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.

3. In parliamentary usage, to add (a supplement) to a bill;
to append; -- often with on or to. --Macaulay.

4. (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.

Note: In tacking, a vessel is brought to point at first
directly to windward, and then so that the wind will
blow against the other side.


Tack, v. i. (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.'' --Macaulay.

Synonyms: alternate, append, assemble, baste, flip, flip-flop, hang on, interchange, mainsheet, piece, put together, saddlery, set up, sheet, shroud, stable gear, switch, tack on, tack together, tacking, tag on, wear round, weather sheet

Antonyms: break apart, break up, disassemble, dismantle, take apart

See Also: aim, appurtenances, attach, bearing, bit, bring together, caparison, carpet tack, change by reversal, change of course, cinch, comfit, compound, confect, confection, configure, confuse, create, drawing pin, fasten, fix, futtock shroud, gear, girth, hame, harness, headgear, heading, horse blanket, housing, housings, join, jumble, line, make, martingale, mix up, nail, paraphernalia, pushpin, reassemble, reverse, rig up, run up, saddle blanket, saddlecloth, sail, sailing, secure, sew, sew together, ship, stitch, subjoin, tack, thumbtack, thumbtack, tintack, trapping, trappings, turn, yoke

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