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 noun cable Internetcable telephony


cabled; cabling\ ˈkā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce cable (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 Meanwhile in the business of cable news, the absence of Mr. Trump has led to smaller audiences both before and after dinner. James Freeman, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Once again, the narrative was set by a few key outlets and opinion-makers on dubious or erroneous grounds, and then the bogus orthodoxy was enforced by cable-news hosts, Twitter mobs, and social-media companies. Rich Lowry, National Review, 1 June 2021 For now, though, there’s still fundamental work to be done, as the company endeavors to broaden out its brand from just being thought about as a cable news company with some digital trimmings to something that’s quite more than that. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 1 June 2021 This bill never led the front page of the New York Times, was never the lead item in Politico's Playbook, never topped the hour on cable news. Matthew Yglesias, Star Tribune, 1 June 2021 Media-savvy parents make fiery speeches at school board meetings and then clip them into short videos that go viral on social media before making their way to cable news. NBC News, 1 June 2021 Between cable news and social media, Americans receive a stream of updates about candidates and their staffs in real time. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Jean-Pierre fields press requests and makes frequent appearances for the Biden administration on cable news. Alexandra Jaffe,, 26 May 2021 Difficult conversations about race, over the dinner table and in corporate boardrooms, took place across the country, as the harrowing video was played over and over on cable news. New York Times, 25 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So the only way to kill it off is to bully cable companies into dropping the network. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 25 Feb. 2021 Then crew members ran cable into the actors' home so that cameras could be set up inside. Leah Marilla Thomas,, 21 Aug. 2020 The most recent season of the series jumped from Netflix to cable channel PopTV, but the first three wonderful years are still streaming on their original home. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 1 July 2020 If information processing and learning arise from the strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons in gray matter, why does learning affect the brain’s subsurface cabling? R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, 12 Mar. 2020 You're also limited by the bandwidth of your controller and cabling—for example, modern SATA links typically operate at 6Gbps, while modern SAS links can operate up to 22.5Gbps. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2020 The major television networks (CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS) will air it, as will cable news networks such as Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, MSNBC and C-SPAN. Usa Today Editors, USA TODAY, 4 Feb. 2020 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, 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, 9 Dec. 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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Learn More About cable

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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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 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
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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