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 In its short life, CHOP had drawn the leering gaze of cable news and netted the President’s faux-wrath—and also that of conspiracy theorists and people with an unhealthy preoccupation with acronyms. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, "Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Has Always Been in Flux," 26 June 2020 But the scenes, replayed ad nauseam on cable news, sank in. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "'Peaceful protests got hijacked': Some criminals used George Floyd protests as cover for looting, police say," 16 June 2020 Everyone's had enough of the unstable economy, the insane politics, racial strife, being stuck at home, Facebook squabbles and cable news shouters. Jason Williams,, "PX column: It took listening to my kids and a trip to Smale Riverfront Park to renew my appreciation for Cincinnati," 16 June 2020 Star Oklahoma State University running back Chuba Hubbard threatened to leave the program on Monday after a photo surfaced of his coach wearing a shirt bearing the logo of a conservative cable news network. NBC News, "Oklahoma State coach's conservative news network T-shirt could cost him a star player," 15 June 2020 Don Lemon steps up The Louisiana native, who joined CNN in 2006 and is the only Black cable news anchor in prime time, is clearly energized by having a role in shaping the current national discourse on race relations. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Dave Chappelle’s new special isn’t stand-up. It’s an anguished history of violence," 12 June 2020 The special will also be available on demand to subscribers via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, "How to watch 'The ABCs of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents'," 11 June 2020 None of these deaths or shootings involved police, so there will be no massive protests over them, no tearful commentary on cable news and social media, no white politicians... Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "The Full Truth About Race and Policing," 9 June 2020 Police were firing gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang rounds at a peaceful protest a few blocks away, creating a scene of mayhem that was played on split screen by cable news channels as the president threatened to send troops into American cities. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy’s Red Line," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 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, "How fast are your disks? Find out the open source way, with fio," 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, "OnPolitics: What if we told you that Iowa was still counting?," 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, "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

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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 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

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