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

The other cable news networks have familiar faces out front: Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper on CNN. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Fox’s MacCallum takes on new election-night role," 6 Nov. 2018 Super TiVo,’ a state-of-the-art system that records cable news. Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Does Trump have a ‘state-of-the-art Super TiVo’ or just regular ol’ DirecTV?," 15 Oct. 2018 Many Americans were highly disturbed by the choice, and the jacket—which FLOTUS wore to board and disembark her plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland—ignited a fierce debate online and across cable news. Perrie Samotin, Glamour, "A History of Melania Trump's Most Talked-About Fashion Moments," 5 Oct. 2018 Coverage of Strzok's hearing on cable news with a partisan lean reflects that divide. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Peter Strzok, the symbol of whatever you want him to be in the Russia investigation," 13 July 2018 With cable news just coming into its own — CNN had been broadcasting for seven years — the story of Baby Jessica drew 24/7 coverage. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "These dramatic rescues boost hope for boys trapped in water-logged Thailand cave," 4 July 2018 Shine was also considered a protégé of Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a giant in cable news and a force in conservative politics. NBC News, "Former Fox News president in talks to be next White House communications director," 27 June 2018 Her family was a fixture of tabloids and cable news shows. Red Huber,, "Casey Anthony saga 10 years later — A look back through iconic pictures," 22 June 2018 Many residents who sign up for cable broadband get TV as part of the bundle. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Outlook for Traditional TV Goes From Bad to Worse," 19 Nov. 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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Statistics for cable

Last Updated

12 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on cable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cable

Spanish Central: Translation of cable

Nglish: Translation of cable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cable for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cable

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