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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for tact in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



tact (plural tacts)

  1. The sense of touch; feeling.
    • Robert Southey
      Did you suppose that I could not make myself sensible to tact as well as sight?
    • J. Le Conte
      Now, sight is a very refined tact.
  2. (music) The stroke in beating time.
  3. Sensitive mental touch; special skill or faculty; nice perception or discernment; ready power of appreciating and doing what is required by circumstances.
    • Thomas Babington Macaulay
      He had formed plans not inferior in grandeur and boldness to those of Richelieu, and had carried them into effect with a tact and wariness worthy of Mazarin.
    • Thomas Babington Macaulay
      A tact which surpassed the tact of her sex as much as the tact of her sex surpassed the tact of ours.
  4. The ability to deal with embarrassing situations carefully and without doing or saying anything that will annoy or upset other people; careful consideration in dealing with others to avoid giving offense; the ability to say the right thing.
    By the use of tact, she was able to calm her jealous husband.
    I used tact when I told my fat uncle that his extra weight made him look better.
  5. (psychology) A verbal operant which is controlled by a nonverbal stimulus (such as an object, event, or property of an object) and is maintained by nonspecific social reinforcement (praise).
    • 2013, Jacob L. Gewirtz, William M. Kurtines, Jacob L. Lamb, Intersections With Attachment
      Skinner (1957) saw such tacts as responses that are reinforced socially.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


tact (third-person singular simple present tacts, present participle tacting, simple past and past participle tacted)

  1. (psychology) To use a tact (a kind of verbal operant; see noun sense).

Further reading[edit]





tact m (plural tacts)

  1. tact

Further reading[edit]