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1. The equipment used in a particular activity, especially in fishing; gear.
a. (often tā′kəl) Nautical A system of ropes and blocks for raising and lowering weights of rigging and pulleys for applying tension.
b. A rope and its pulley.
3. Sports
a. The act of stopping an opposing player carrying the ball, especially by forcing the opponent to the ground, as in football or Rugby.
b. The act of obstructing a player in order to cause loss of possession of the ball, as in soccer.
4. Football
a. One of two offensive linemen positioned between the guard and the end on either side of the ball.
b. One of two defensive linemen positioned to the inside of either end.
c. Tackle football.
v. tack·led, tack·ling, tack·les
v.tr. Sports
1. To grab hold of and wrestle with (an opponent).
2. Sports
a. To stop (an opponent carrying the ball), especially by forcing the opponent to the ground.
b. To obstruct (a player with the ball) in order to cause loss of possession of the ball.
3. To engage or deal with: tackle a perplexing problem.
4. To harness (a horse).
v.intr. Sports
To tackle an opponent in possession of the ball.

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

tack′ler n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
It was planned that while Charley and I tackled the nets, they were to be hidden ashore so as to ambush the fishermen who landed to shoot at us.
'Come here!' he says, 'Come here, everybody; hang'd if this fool hasn't been trying to fill up a house with acorns!' They all came a-swooping down like a blue cloud, and as each fellow lit on the door and took a glance, the whole absurdity of the contract that that first jay had tackled hit him home and he fell over backward suffocating with laughter, and the next jay took his place and done the same.
Tom's most well now, and got his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard for a watch, and is always seeing what time it is, and so there ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more.