AskDefine | Define tactful

Dictionary Definition

tactful adj
1 having or showing a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others; "she was tactful enough not to shatter his illusion"; "a tactful remark eased her embarrassment" [ant: tactless]
2 showing skill and sensitivity in dealing with people; "by diplomatic conduct he avoided antagonizing anyone"; "a tactful way of correcting someone"; "the agency got the kid-glove treatment on Capitol Hill" [syn: kid-glove]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Possessing tact; Able to deal with people in a sensitive manner.


possessing tact

Extensive Definition

Tact is a term that B.F. Skinner used to describe a verbal operant in which a response of given form is evoked (or at least strengthened) by a particular object or event or property of an object or event (1957). The tact is verbal contact with the physical world.
see Tact(moral)
Tact is a careful consideration of one's current situation and surroundings, and acting accordingly.
For example, with respect to interpersonal relationships, tact is a careful consideration of the feelings and values of another so as to create harmonious relationships with a reduced potential for conflict or offense.
Tact is a form of interpersonal diplomacy. Tact is the ability to induce change or communicate hurtful information without offending through the use of consideration, compassion, kindness, and reason.
For example, choosing an appropriate joke to entertain a small audience requires tact. Contrarily, a tactless joke is likely to make an audience angry or uncomfortable.
tactful in Danish: Takt (moral)
tactful in German: Taktgefühl
tactful in Dutch: Tact
tactful in Polish: Takt (obyczaje)
tactful in Russian: Такт (поведение)
tactful in Hebrew: טאקט

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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