mid-13c., "apparatus, gear," from M.Du. or M.L.G. takel
"the rigging of a ship," perhaps related to M.Du. taken
"grasp, seize" (see take
), or perhaps from root of tack
(1). Meaning "apparatus for fishing" is recorded from late 14c. The noun meaning "act of tackling" in the sporting sense is recorded from 1876 (see tackle
(v.)); as the name of a position in Amer. football, it is recorded from 1891.