\ ˈdesk How to pronounce desk (audio) \

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 As lawmakers were ushered out another side of the chamber, plainclothes Capitol Police officers dragged a desk to use as a barricade in front of the door that presidents enter to deliver the annual State of the Union address. Anchorage Daily News, "How barricaded lawmakers and aides sounded urgent pleas for help as police lost control," 10 Jan. 2021 Officials told us that the historic desk was used to block the rioters from getting in. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Buzz: Page desk blocked House floor from attack, GOP too sad to send Christmas cards," 8 Jan. 2021 For many, that meant refreshing their homes—whether by upgrading a makeshift WFH space to include an actual desk and office chair or transforming a backyard into an outdoor oasis. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "These Are the Most Popular Home Projects People Have Planned for the New Year," 7 Jan. 2021 There were pictures of her at twenty-two, beautiful and dark-eyed, standing on somebody’s desk in little canvas tennis shoes, her gloved hands holding a bat and a net. Ann Patchett, Harper's Magazine, "These Precious Days," 5 Jan. 2021 Bilha Kangethe, lead designer and creative director of the The Lifestyle Loft in Burlington, ON, expects multifunctional spaces and designs — storage that doubles as a desk, wall art that turns into a table — to be a major trend in 2021. Carli Whitwell,, "These Home Decor Trends Will Be Everywhere In 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 Work orders are sent automatically to a cleaning company when a desk is reserved, in order to sanitize the area. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "For Many CIOs, 2020’s Digital Acceleration Was Only the Beginning," 4 Jan. 2021 When New York City shut down in March, Vanessa Anderson, 24, set up a small desk for herself in her living room. New York Times, "Working From Bed Is Actually Great," 31 Dec. 2020 Employees of a local business reported Dec. 27 that a man entered, walked past the reception desk, and stared at an employee who was on the phone. cleveland, "Unknown Denny’s customers dine, dash and crash into employee: Highland Heights Police Blotter," 30 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for desk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for desk

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Desk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for desk


How to pronounce desk (audio)

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 How to pronounce desk (audio) \

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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Comments on desk

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