What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[tak-tiks] /ˈtæk tɪks/
(usually used with a singular verb) the art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.
(used with a plural verb) the maneuvers themselves.
(used with a singular verb) any mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success.
(usually used with a singular verb) Linguistics.
  1. the patterns in which the elements of a given level or stratum in a language may combine to form larger constructions.
  2. the study and description of such patterns.
Origin of tactics
1620-30; see tactic, -ics
Related forms
countertactics, noun
1. See strategy.


[tak-tik] /ˈtæk tɪk/
tactics (def 1).
a system or a detail of tactics.
a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.
of or relating to arrangement or order; tactical.
1560-70; New Latin tacticus < Greek taktikós fit for arranging or ordering, equivalent to tak- (base of tássein (Attic táttein) to arrange, put in order) + -tikos -tic
Related forms
nontactic, noun, adjective
Can be confused
stratagem, strategy, tactic (see synonym study at strategy) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tactics
  • None of them photographed a general's strategy, or the tactics of a platoon.
  • But the strategy is so successful that the authors yearned for puzzles whose solutions would require novel tactics.
  • The argument was at the level of philosophy, not the level of tactics or strategy.
  • And when you fail, you have to go back and devise a new strategy or try new tactics.
  • The confusion here rests primarily on the difference between strategy and tactics.
  • Both were more interested in the strategy of science than in the tactics.
  • Such tactics have outraged civil libertarians, who say the police have no business selling drugs to the public.
  • If scare tactics or inappropriate promises are being made, the applicant is denied.
  • Scientists are using new tools and tactics in the race to discover novel antibiotics.
  • Sometimes, hybrid sport enthusiasts resort to more desperate tactics.
British Dictionary definitions for tactics


plural noun
(functioning as sing) (military) the art and science of the detailed direction and control of movement or manoeuvre of forces in battle to achieve an aim or task
the manoeuvres used or plans followed to achieve a particular short-term aim
Derived Forms
tactician, noun
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin tactica, from Greek ta taktika the matters of arrangement, neuter plural of taktikos concerning arrangement or order, from taktos arranged (for battle), from tassein to arrange


a piece of tactics; tactical move See also tactics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tactics

1620s, from Modern Latin tactica (17c.), from Greek taktike techne "art of arrangement," noun use of fem. of taktikos "of or pertaining to arrangement," especially "tactics in war," adjective to taxis "order," verbal noun of tassein "arrange," from PIE root *tag- "to set aright."



1766, from Modern Latin tactica, from Greek taktike (tekhne) "(art of) arrangement," from fem. of taktikos (see tactics). Earlier it meant "a tactician" (1630s), and was in use as an adjective meaning "tactical" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tactics

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tactics

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with tactics

Nearby words for tactics