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

Definition of cable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ratings are down from their Trump-era heights across cable news, but declines at CNN are particularly pronounced. Benjamin Mullin, New York Times, 2 Aug. 2022 In government hallways, newspapers and on cable news shows, the narrative being pushed is that current airline disruptions shouldn’t be happening because the industry was granted taxpayer money to keep people employed. Ben Baldanza, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 The wider context for this on-air idiocy is a morning cable news show that on Jan. 20, 2021, lost its gushing pipeline to political relevance, if not dominance. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 One recent evening, McFaul sent her a clip of him discussing prisoner swaps during a cable news segment. Manuel Roig-franzia, Anchorage Daily News, 28 July 2022 How to watch live stream online: The game will be streaming on the Fox Sports website and on the Fox Sports app, with cable provider info required. oregonlive, 9 July 2022 Among the larger ISPs, Mediacom, the fifth-biggest cable provider in the country, made a large jump up the charts this year. Eric Griffith, PCMAG, 17 June 2022 Those who do not have cable can still tune into #TextMeWhenYouGetHome. al, 6 June 2022 The app, the first of its kind from the regional sports network of an MLB or NHL team, is available at no additional cost for those who already subscribe to NESN via their cable provider. Globe Staff,, 1 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Next up is another superset, this time cable straight arm pushdowns and lat pulldowns (1 to 2 sets, reaching failure between 6 and 10 reps), and 1 to 2 sets of straight arm pushdowns (15 to 20 reps). Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 4 July 2022 Alcatel, which laid Quintillion Networks’ subsea cable off the North Slope, has been hired as the lead engineering, procurement and construction partner. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Dec. 2021 With an enormous choice of new and classic TV shows, an optional live TV component, and the ability to bundle in additional channels and services, Hulu is an ideal service for new cord-cutters who are used to cable. Simon Hill, Wired, 22 Nov. 2021 To be fair, Peacock never marketed itself as the home of all streaming coverage, and NBCU is hardly the first conglomerate to move programming once exclusive to cable over to streaming (think FX on Hulu). Josef Adalian, Vulture, 29 July 2021 The Tokyo Olympics are officially underway, but how can cable cutters take part in this year’s action? Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 24 July 2021 When World War II broke out, the New Yorker magazine contracted Panter-Downes to cable a 1,500-word weekly letter of wartime impressions from London. Peter Caddick-adams, WSJ, 4 June 2021 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 See More

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.

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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cable


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.

Cable biographical name

Ca·​ble | \ ˈkā-bəl How to pronounce Cable (audio) \

Definition of Cable

George Washington 1844–1925 American novelist

More from Merriam-Webster on cable

Nglish: Translation of cable for Spanish Speakers

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


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