tacks


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Related to tacks: brass tacks

tacks

short, sharp nails with broad, flat heads; fastens; zigzags
Not to be confused with:
tax – a sum of money demanded by a government; levy; lay a burden on; strain, stretch

tack 1

 (tăk)
n.
1. A short, light nail with a sharp point and a flat head.
2. Nautical
a. A rope for holding down the weather clew of a course.
b. A rope for hauling the outer lower corner of a studdingsail to the boom.
c. The part of a sail, such as the weather clew of a course, to which this rope is fastened.
d. The lower forward corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
3. Nautical
a. The position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails.
b. The act of changing from one position or direction to another.
c. The distance or leg sailed between changes of position or direction.
4. An approach to accomplishing a goal or a method of dealing with a problem.
5. A large, loose stitch made as a temporary binding or as a marker.
6. Stickiness, as that of a newly painted surface.
v. tacked, tack·ing, tacks
v.tr.
1. To fasten or attach with a tack or tacks: tacked the carpet down.
2. To fasten or mark (cloth or a seam, for example) with a loose basting stitch.
3. To put together loosely and arbitrarily: tacked some stories together in an attempt to write a novel.
4. To add as an extra item; append: tacked two dollars onto the bill.
5. Nautical To bring (a vessel) into the wind in order to change course or direction.
v.intr.
1. Nautical
a. To change the direction of a sailing vessel, especially by turning the bow into and past the direction of the wind: Stand by to tack.
b. To sail a zigzag course upwind by repeatedly executing such a maneuver.
c. To change tack: The ship tacked to starboard.
2. To change one's course of action.

[Middle English tak, fastener, from Old North French taque, probably of Germanic origin.]

tack′er n.
tack′less adj.

tack 2

 (tăk)
n.
Food, especially coarse or inferior foodstuffs.

[Origin unknown.]

tack 3

 (tăk)
n.
The harness for a horse, including the bridle and saddle.

[Short for tackle.]
References in classic literature ?
However, the vessel and the swimmer insensibly neared one another, and in one of its tacks the tartan bore down within a quarter of a mile of him.
will you get down to brass tacks and strike a trial balance?
He never went to sleep without spreadin' a box of tacks on the floor, and when it wasn't them it was crumpled newspapers.
And still it neared and neared: As if it dodged a water-sprite, It plunged and tacked and veered.
`l am not able to resist your will and pleasure,' said the Abbot, 'in this place.' `Ye must then obey me,' said the Earl, and with that were presented unto him certain letters to subscribe, amongst which there was a five years' tack, and a nineteen years' tack, and a charter of feu of all the lands (of Crossraguel, with all the clauses necessary for the Earl to haste him to hell.
I came on deck to find the Ghost heading up close on the port tack and cutting in to windward of a familiar spritsail close-hauled on the same tack ahead of us.
Meanwhile the schooner gradually fell off and filled again upon another tack, sailed swiftly for a minute or so, and brought up once more dead in the wind's eye.
we'll tack it up in one minute," said the resolute Dunyasha taking a needle that was stuck on the front of her little shawl and, still kneeling on the floor, set to work once more.
It is well enough on this tack, but I would have you tell me what I am to do on the other.
We in the salmon boat, sailing close on the wind, tacked about and crossed the ship's bow.
a straggling procession of men, marching two and two, began from the other side of the market-place, and advanced in an irregular zig-zag fashion towards the Palace, wildly tacking from side to side, like a sailing vessel making way against an unfavourable wind so that the head of the procession was often further from us at the end of one tack than it had been at the end of the previous one.
But he luffed the boat less delicately, spilling the wind shamelessly from the sail so as to prolong the tack to the north shore.