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[thuhm-tak] /ˈθʌmˌtæk/
a tack with a large, flat head, designed to be thrust into a board or other fairly soft object or surface by the pressure of the thumb.
verb (used with object)
to attach or tack by means of a thumbtack.
Origin of thumbtack
1880-85, Americanism; thumb + tack1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thumbtack
  • thumbtack a length of string or yarn between the two pictures.
  • Push a thumbtack through the center of an aluminum pie plate from the bottom.
  • thumbtacks mark important local places and clicking on a thumbtack brings up detailed information about the particular place.
  • He scribbled thoughts on paper and using a thumbtack carefully arranged his notes on a piece of cardboard for viewing.
  • Nowadays you've got the earmarks and it's for this or that thumbtack.
British Dictionary definitions for thumbtack


(mainly US & Canadian) a short tack with a broad smooth head for fastening papers to a drawing board, etc Also called (esp in Britain) drawing pin
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
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Word Origin and History for thumbtack

tack with a broad, flat head which may be driven by pressure from the thumb, 1884, from thumb (n.) + tack (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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