noun, often attributive
ca·​ble | \ ˈkā-bəl How to pronounce cable (audio) \

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 nouncable Internetcable telephony


cabled; cabling\ ˈkā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce cabling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Cable (audio) \

Definition of Cable (Entry 3 of 3)

George Washington 1844–1925 American novelist

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Other Words from cable


cabler \ ˈkā-​b(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for cable

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cable in a Sentence

Noun The bridge is held up by cables. Their company supplied cable for the project. We need more cable to hook up the computers. Verb 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 Signal equipment, a power substation and third rail cables were being inspected. Mariel Padilla, New York Times, "Water Break on Upper West Side Disrupts Subway Service," 19 Jan. 2020 There also is evidence AVOD is attracting cord-cutters who forgo a cable subscription. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Peacock Signals New "Gold Rush" For Ad-Supported Streaming," 17 Jan. 2020 The stock price for iHeart, which has been the subject of recent takeover speculation from cable giant and SiriusXM satellite-radio parent Liberty Media Corp., has jumped from roughly $17 to $18 since the layoffs went public earlier this week. Steve Knopper, Billboard, "What iHeartMedia's Layoffs This Week Mean for Listeners & the Industry," 17 Jan. 2020 Here's who's on the team so far, according to the sources: Alan Dershowitz Current job: professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and frequent cable news commentator. NBC News, "Meet Trump's legal team for the impeachment trial," 17 Jan. 2020 One will be free for cable customers of Comcast and Cox Communications Inc., but will require others to pay a monthly fee. Sahil Patel, WSJ, "NBC’s Peacock Enlists Advertisers and Cable Companies in Marketing Push," 16 Jan. 2020 But deciding to keep Cinemax original content away from HBO Max entirely proves WarnerMedia does not see the pay-cable channel as part of its future. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Cinemax is the latest casualty of the streaming era," 16 Jan. 2020 When nothing came of that, his bearded friend entered the picture and attempted to pull the charging cable out. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Watch Tesla Sentry Mode Surprise Hooligans, Foil Model 3 Break-In," 15 Jan. 2020 In 1980, before cable was thriving and streaming even existed, CBS came up with an end-of-season cliffhanger that had viewers speculating for eight months. Dave Murphy,, "From ‘Goodnight Chet’ to being a Stan: Lingo lessons for the generations," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The city has contracted with Alpha Technologies to manage and install the huts, which will hold battery banks, electrical wiring and racks and cabling for equipment. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Loveland breaks ground on city-owned broadband utility," 1 Nov. 2019 The winter work includes: - JD Williamson returning to finish the remaining portion of the French Creek Culvert now that the duct bank (groups of conduits designed to protect and consolidate cabling to and from buildings) has been cleared. cleveland, "North Ridgeville residents receive gift of trash collection ‘rate holiday’," 9 Dec. 2019 There is a seemingly endless parade of Democrats to cable news cameras and green rooms to opine about the case to remove the president. Reid J. Epstein, New York Times, "Why Impeachment Isn’t a Big Deal on the Trail," 11 Nov. 2019 For example, to provide utilities, including water and electricity, to the stations, workers had to tunnel under the Dulles Toll Road for cabling work. Washington Post, "Why second phase of Metro’s Silver Line has been more problem-plagued than the first," 20 July 2019 Change disputes that dragged on for months involved items as seemingly small as the bathroom fixtures and as consequential as changes to the placement of airline check-in kiosks that affected electrical and data cabling plans. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Fired Denver airport contractors’ claims raise questions about oversight as massive project restarts," 14 Nov. 2019 Those at OHB System, for example, have proposed fastening together with strong cabling any components expected to survive re-entry. The Economist, "No one has yet been killed by re-entering space junk," 10 Aug. 2019 From the outdoor Yagi, a leg of coax cabling needs to be routed indoors and fed to the signal booster, which then has an output port which connects to an indoor panel antenna via another coax run. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Ars reviews three cell signal boosters—and they actually work," 1 Aug. 2019 After cabling is complete, the underground electric will be energized and properties along the road will be switched from overhead to underground service. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Digging to resume along Espola Road," 25 June 2019

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for cable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cable

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cable.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cable


How to pronounce Cable (audio)

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 How to pronounce cable (audio) \

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


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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