\ˈdesk \

Definition of desk 

1a : a table, frame, or case with a sloping or horizontal surface especially for writing and reading and often with drawers, compartments, and pigeonholes

b : a reading table or lectern from which a liturgical service is read

c : a table, counter, stand, or booth at which a person works

2a : a division of an organization specializing in a particular phase of activity the Russian desk in the Department of State

b : a seating position according to rank in an orchestra a first-desk violinist

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Examples of desk in a Sentence

an information desk at an airport We will ask for directions to the restaurant at the front desk. We went to the reception desk to check into our room.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a desk, bookcase, and four chairs, including a black wooden armchair that was a gift from Tufts Medical Center, where Schenkein used to head the cancer center. Jonathan Saltzman,, "This CEO doesn’t like to be cornered," 14 July 2018 William Voge sat at a desk Thursday at his house in Jackson, Wyo. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "The Sexting Scandal That Toppled One of America’s Most Powerful Lawyers," 13 July 2018 Keep a laptop desk and some basic supplies in a small bag that stays in the car. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "6 tips to help get your kid in back-to-school mode," 12 July 2018 The charger and the stand are great for a desk or bedside table, and the portable wireless charger is perfect for travel, working at a coffee shop, or spending some time outside in the sun. 3. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best deals on Amazon right now," 12 July 2018 On non-game days, the building is relatively barren, with a couple of microphones and a soundboard lying on a desk. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "KC Urban Youth Academy contributing more than just baseball fields," 5 July 2018 Gordon Brown gave Barack Obama a desk set carved from the wood of an anti-slave ship. A.a. Gill, A-LIST, "Fraught, But It Counts," 4 July 2018 According to The Hill, Pruitt spent at least $9,600 on office decor in May, including for art frames and refurbishing a desk. Renae Reints, Fortune, "EPA Chief Scott Pruitt's Big Spending Listed All in One Place," 22 June 2018 The sitting room has a sofa with velvet cushions, a dining room table, and a small desk where the Queen can catch up on work. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside the Grand Royal Train That Queen Elizabeth and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Rode to Cheshire," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desk.' 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 desk

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for desk

Middle English deske, from Medieval Latin desca, modification of Old Italian desco table, from Latin discus dish, disc — more at dish

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Statistics for desk

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for desk

The first known use of desk was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for desk



English Language Learners Definition of desk

: a piece of furniture that is like a table and often has drawers

: a place where people can get information or be served at an office, a hotel, etc.

: the part of a company or organization that deals with a particular subject


\ˈdesk \

Kids Definition of desk

1 : a piece of furniture with a flat or sloping surface for use in writing or reading

2 : a counter at which a person works especially to help customers

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More from Merriam-Webster on desk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for desk

Spanish Central: Translation of desk

Nglish: Translation of desk for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on desk

What made you want to look up desk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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