Tact is the act of using gentle language and behaving in a sensitive manner when dealing with potentially controversial issues.
An example of tact is when you gently and politely correct someone's error without embarrassing or angering the person or drawing attention to the error.
- Archaic the sense of touch
- delicate perception of the right thing to say or do without offending; skill in dealing with people
- delicate sensitivity, esp. in aesthetics
Origin of tactFrench from Classical Latin tactus, past participle of tangere, to touch from Indo-European base an unverified form tag-, to touch, grasp from source Old English thaccian, to stroke
Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.
Origin of tactFrench from Old French sense of touch from Latin tāctus from past participle of tangere to touch ; see tag- in Indo-European roots.
- The sense of touch; feeling.
- (music) The stroke in beating time.
- Sensitive mental touch; peculiar skill or faculty; nice perception or discernment; ready power of appreciating and doing what is required by circumstances.
- 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.