tact

tact, *address, poise, savoir faire can all mean the skill and grace with which a well-bred person conducts himself in his relations with others.
Tact stresses skill and consider- ateness in one's association with or handling of others, whether social equals or not. It implies delicate and sympathetic perception, especially of what is fit, graceful, or considerate under given circumstances
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of political wisdom . . . Elizabeth had little or none; but her political tact was unerring— J. R. Green

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had been known to correct her mistress—with the utmost tact and respect —on a point of historical accuracy— Sackville-West

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without the tact to perceive when remarks were untimely— Hardy

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Address stresses dexterity and grace in approach (as in meeting strangers or in coping with new or with difficult situations). It often connotes adroitness and suavity and commonly implies success in winning favor or in attaining one's ends
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to bring the thing off as well as Mike has done requires addressWouk

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his acute and flexible logic could support, with equal address ... the adverse sides of every possible question— Gibbon

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Poise often implies both tact and address; it stresses, however, self-possession or equanimity in meeting embarrassing or upsetting situations
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mental poise ... a balance of mind and temper that neither challenged nor avoided notice, nor admitted question of superiority or inferiority— Henry Adams

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would look into his eyes, the reserve, the statuesque poise all going to pieces— Styron

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Savoir faire may stress worldly or social experience and a knowledge of what is the proper thing to say or do or of how to act under all circumstances
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the inexperience and want of savoir faire in high matters of diplomacy of the Emperor and his ministers— Greville

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But it as often suggests a seemingly intuitive ability to act appropriately and with the utmost ease and tact rather than one based on breadth of experience
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the alcoholic usually has memories of occasions when liquor seemed to sharpen his wits, polish his manners and infuse him with savoir faire—Seliger

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Analogous words: diplomaticness or diplomacy, politicness or policy, suavity, urbanity (see corresponding adjectives at SUAVE): *courtesy, amenity, gallantry
Antonyms: awkwardness

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
, , , / (in appreciating circumstances and acting accordingly), (in saying or doing what is most appropriate to the occasion), , , , , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • tact — tact …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • tact — [ takt ] n. m. • 1354, repris v. 1570; lat. tactus, de tangere « toucher » 1 ♦ Vx Toucher. « Le plaisir du tact » (Voltaire). ♢ Mod. Physiol. Sens du toucher permettant d apprécier les divers stimulus mécaniques qui s exercent sur la peau et les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • TACT — son las siglas de Textual Analisys Computing Tools (Herramientas para el Análisis Computarizado de Textos) y corresponden a una sencilla y completa aplicación para el análisis textual de textos electrónicos. TACT está compuesto por varios… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tact — Tact, n. [L. tactus a touching, touch, fr. tangere, tactum, to touch: cf. F. tact. See {Tangent}.] 1. The sense of touch; feeling. [1913 Webster] Did you suppose that I could not make myself sensible to tact as well as sight? Southey. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tact — is careful consideration in dealing with others to avoid giving offense. Tact may also refer to:* Tact (psychology), term used by B.F. Skinner * Tact Meyers, a fictional character in the manga series Galaxy Angel * TACT Records, Israeli record… …   Wikipedia

  • Tact — Tact, die Bewegung nach einem bestimmten Maße überhaupt, wie beim Gehen, Tanzen etc., – in der Musik das Maß, wodurch die Tonreihen als. Zeitgrößen in gleiche Abschnitte zerfallen, dann diese einzelnen Abtheilungen selbst, sowie auch die… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • tact — TACT. s. m. Le toucher, l attouchement, celuy des cinq sens par lequel on connoist ce qui est chaud ou froid, dur ou mol, uni ou raboteux. Le tact est le moins subtil de tous les sens. cela se connoist au tact …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • tact — [takt] n. [Fr < L tactus, pp. of tangere, to touch < IE base * tag , to touch, grasp > OE thaccian, to stroke] 1. Archaic the sense of touch 2. delicate perception of the right thing to say or do without offending; skill in dealing with… …   English World dictionary

  • tact — [tækt] n [U] [Date: 1600 1700; : French; Origin: sense of touch , from Latin tactus, from tangere to touch ] the ability to be careful about what you say or do, so that you do not upset or embarrass other people →↑tactful, tactless ↑tactless ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tact — (n.) 1650s, sense of touch or feeling (with an isolated instance from c.1200), from L. tactus touch, feeling, handling, sense of touch, from root of tangere to touch (see TANGENT (Cf. tangent)). Meaning sense of discernment, diplomacy, etc. first …   Etymology dictionary

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