V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. being discreet and acting with tact; 2. showing sensitivity in dealing with people

Synonyms: discreet, thoughtful, considerate, careful, courteous, diplomatic, polite, mindful, suave

Antonyms: indiscreet, rude, thoughtless, inconsiderate

Tips: From Latin tactus, which means "feeling and touch." Tactful refers to feeling out a situation or person's state-of-mind and acting accordingly. When you're tactful, you know how to approach difficult situations without upsetting or offending anyone. The related noun tact refers to discretion and consideration in dealing with others. Tactful and discreet are synonymous. Discreet is more related to being careful and aware of embarrassing people, while tactful is being aware and careful of not hurting someone's feelings. Remember the origin of "feeling and touch" from the etymology above.

Usage Examples:

Jerry wasn't being very tactful when he told his sister that her house was messy. (considerate, diplomatic)

John looked for a tactful way to ask his boss for a raise. (discreet, mindful)

When my friend asked me how she looked in her new dress, I had to search for a tactful way to tell her the truth. (discreet, diplomatic, considerate)

Steven doesn't have much tact and usually manages to put his foot in his mouth and offend the person with whom he is speaking. (consideration, discretion, diplomacy) noun

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