noun, often attributive
ca·ble | \ˈkā-bəl \

Definition of cable 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a strong rope especially of 10 inches (25 centimeters) or more in circumference

b : a cable-laid rope

c : a wire rope or metal chain of great tensile strength

d : a wire or wire rope by which force is exerted to control or operate a mechanism

3a : an assembly of electrical conductors insulated from each other but laid up together (as by being twisted around a central core)

b : cablegram also : a radio message or telegram

4 : something resembling or fashioned like a cable a fiber-optic cable

5a : cable television a house with cable

b : a cable infrastructure used to provide services other than television often used before another noun cable Internetcable telephony


cabled; cabling\ˈkā-b(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of cable (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to fasten with or as if with a cable

2 : to provide with a cable or cables

3 : to telegraph by submarine cable

4 : to make into a cable or into a form resembling a cable

intransitive verb

: to communicate by a submarine cable


biographical name
Ca·ble | \ˈkā-bəl \

Definition of Cable (Entry 3 of 3)

George Washington 1844–1925 American novelist

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Other Words from cable


cabler \-b(ə-)lər \ noun

Synonyms for cable

Synonyms: Noun

cord, lace, lacing, line, rope, string, wire

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Examples of cable in a Sentence


The bridge is held up by cables. Their company supplied cable for the project. We need more cable to hook up the computers.


She cabled the news to the United States. She cabled her parents for money. The soldiers cabled back to headquarters.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mink's nonviolent protest was all over cable news that night, and the ensuing rise of public outrage undoubtedly contributed to the pressure for Pruitt to peace out., "Scott Pruitt Resigns From EPA Days After Woman Publicly Confronted Him About Corruption," 5 July 2018 More recently, Trump announced the hiring of Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova as his personal lawyers in the Russia probe after watching them on cable news defending him. Cliff Pinckard,, "Guns banned from NRA event with Mike Pence: A.M. News Links," 30 Apr. 2018 The Justice Department had pressured Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes the cable news operation CNN, or other segments of the business, which both companies resisted. CBS News, "Justice Department appeals judge's approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 At one point during his travels, he was spotted by a cable news camera crew while filling his gas tank. Geoff Mulvihill, The Seattle Times, "Twice a Supreme Court runner-up, Hardiman is back at work," 10 July 2018 Maybe more people will watch on Snapchat than on cable. Jacob Feldman,, "Wimbledon Embraces Technology and Tradition in Unique Way," 2 July 2018 Where to watch it: Hulu or (must have a cable provider login). Trenesha N Striggles, azcentral, "Here's the shows you should binge-watch while it's hot outside," 27 June 2018 To further sweeten the all-cash deal, the nation’s largest cable provider offered to pay at least $4 billion in breakup fees should Comcast fail to win regulatory approval for the deal — and to make Disney go away. Meg James,, "Comcast bids $65 billion for Fox assets, challenging Disney's offer," 14 June 2018 Those searching for online streaming can sign in with a cable provider on, or purchase a 24-hour day pass to watch the show live. Madison Roberts,, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 CMT Awards: From Nominees to Performers!," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The damage to subway cabling from corrosion was extensive, and the repairs have been strictly temporary patches. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 Trump spent last Monday glued to cable news coverage of the FBI raid of his attorney Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump fills the job of White House communications director — with himself," 17 Apr. 2018 Before the structure is finished, Aref said, crews should ensure that each of its components is secured by cabling or other supporting mechanisms. Francisco Alvarado, Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "Recovery efforts continue following Florida bridge collapse; at least 6 dead," 16 Mar. 2018 The bulk of sales currently come from electrical systems—cabling, connectors and the like—which will do nicely as cars become ever more like computers on wheels. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Why Delphi Could Become a Tech Takeover Target," 3 Sep. 2017 It’s been rewired and cabled, according to the estate listing, and replica tiles and fixtures have been installed. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Former Howard Hughes desert home for sale in California," 31 Jan. 2018 New York State will also invest $6 million in enhancements at the Coliseum to meet league requirements, including dehumidification and cabling infrastructure for media and broadcasters, according to a release issued by the governor’s office. Allan Kreda, New York Times, "Until New Arena Is Done, Islanders Will Play Part-Time at Nassau Coliseum," 29 Jan. 2018 The next day, Hilleman cabled the army’s 406th Medical General Laboratory in Zama, Japan, and asked for throat washings from any serviceman in the area who was infected. Paul A. Offit,, "The Philly vaccine pioneer who saved thousands from flu, and predicted the next pandemic," 23 Jan. 2018 Keep it classic with some natural wool Ragg socks from a heritage brand like L.L. Bean, or invest in the fancy designer kind—think: cabled cashmere straight from Wales. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "David Beckham and His Sons Invented a New Way to Wear Chelsea Boots," 11 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cable


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cable


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin capulum lasso, from Latin capere to take — more at heave

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Phrases Related to cable

cable box

Statistics for cable

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cable

The first known use of cable was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cable



English Language Learners Definition of cable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thick, strong rope made of wires that are twisted together

: a wire that moves a part in a machine

: a group of wires, glass fibers, etc., covered in plastic or rubber and used to carry electricity or electrical signals



English Language Learners Definition of cable (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send a message by telegraph


ca·ble | \ˈkā-bəl \

Kids Definition of cable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a very strong rope, wire, or chain

2 : a bundle of wires to carry electric current

3 : telegram


cabled; cabling

Kids Definition of cable (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send a message by telegraph She cabled the news to her parents.

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Comments on cable

What made you want to look up cable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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