Definition of tactic in English:


See synonyms for tactic

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  • 1An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.

    ‘the minority attempted to control the Council by a delaying tactic’
    • ‘these are possible tax-saving tactics to discuss with your accountant’
    • ‘His tactic is to approach strangers asking for money, often bursting into tears.’
    • ‘A favourite tactic is to slowly move up and down the platform quietly expelling air.’
    • ‘I think it's just a deliberate tactic they use to keep the game at their pace.’
    • ‘He copied the tactic to win his first race and continues to ride with the same enthusiasm six years on.’
    • ‘I am pretty sure this is a negotiating tactic to get me to buy him that drum machine.’
    • ‘This isn't a bad tactic as it can rile players and make them make rash judgement calls in the hope that they can knock you out.’
    • ‘You do not have to accept an investigation that drags on for years - a tactic some inspectors use.’
    • ‘I am glad I was talking to him out of the window, as his next tactic would probably have been to jam his foot in the door.’
    • ‘I mused over this for a few moments before picking the tactic I thought would reap the best results.’
    • ‘It is an old tactic and the only one to resort to when you are caught the way they have been.’
    • ‘Their only tactic seems to be to shock their client's way into the headlines.’
    • ‘So then I tried the tactic of being withdrawn and cool and the relationship just disappeared.’
    • ‘It is a tactic that may be desired when taking on the very best in Europe.’
    • ‘She says that not only does the tactic make the corruption seem less severe, it is less inflammatory.’
    • ‘This is our usual tactic, to let her wake up all the way before we go in and get her out of bed.’
    • ‘This is a deliberate tactic to cover up the cheaper prices of my bus trips.’
    • ‘Once he spotted Dylan, his musical hero, at an airport and tried the same tactic.’
    • ‘There are signs that the tactic is paying off, even among staunch supporters of evolution.’
    • ‘At two schools at which he has used the same tactic, grades have improved through the homework ban.’
    • ‘It's a wise tactic, and one that helps keep her performances honest, raw and real.’
    strategy, scheme, stratagem, plan, set of tactics, manoeuvre, course of action, line of action
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    1. 1.1also treated as singular The art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organizing operations, especially during contact with an enemy.
      Often contrasted with strategy
      ‘basic infantry tactics were taught by guest instructors’
      • ‘British tactics as well as strategy tended to err on the side of caution, American on the side of rashness.’
      • ‘If you want to beat your enemy, you must know your enemy and study the tactics of your enemy.’
      • ‘His victory was not marked by a surrender but by a change of enemy tactics.’
      • ‘Each of those battles offers a contrasting type of military tactics, terrain and drama.’
      • ‘He later wrote books on military tactics, advocating a highly mechanised army.’
      • ‘It is all too easy to focus in the minute details of operational tactics and to miss the broad sweep of strategy.’
      • ‘The Assyrian king had total control over the targets, tactics and deployment of his army.’
      • ‘Our tactics and logistics may indeed be weak, but surely we must protect our officers and men?’
      • ‘It's science fiction but it gives a good inside on war strategies and tactics.’
      • ‘He grew to be a fine lad and his education consisted of the use of weapons and military tactics.’
      • ‘This is not surprising at all, since the tactics used owe themselves directly to Israel.’
      • ‘In both cases we start with solidarity, and participate in debates about strategy and tactics.’
      • ‘After the war he defended what he did by writing the following article to explain his strategy and tactics.’
      • ‘The effect was that they did not have a very good grasp of strategy and tactics.’
      • ‘However, tactics from this war to 1914 had not changed to fit in with this new weapon.’
      • ‘The American tactics relied on the peculiar characteristics of carrier warfare.’
      • ‘The Indian army used classic counterinsurgency tactics, taught to them by the British.’
      • ‘Her part in the briefings related to tactics, posting of officers and health and safety.’
      battle plans, plans, game plans
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/ˈtaktik/ /ˈtæktɪk/


Mid 18th century from modern Latin tactica, from Greek taktikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of tactics’, feminine of taktikos, from taktos ‘ordered, arranged’, from the base of tassein ‘arrange’.