sa·​ble | \ ˈsā-bəl How to pronounce sable (audio) \
plural sables

Definition of sable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the color black
b : black clothing worn in mourning usually used in plural
2a or plural sable
(1) : a carnivorous mammal (Martes zibellina) of the weasel family that occurs chiefly in northern Asia
(2) : any of various animals related to the sable
b : the fur or pelt of a sable
3 : the usually dark brown color of the fur of the sable



Definition of sable (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color black
2 : dark, gloomy

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sable

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of sable in a Sentence

Noun a brush made of sable
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The brush, of sable, which immediately conjures up some semi-mythical creature of the Russian forests. The Economist, 22 Apr. 2020 European, American and Japanese furriers had long purchased sable, mink and otter furs from local hunters, but had never been interested in the coarse fur of the Tarbagan marmot. Paul French, CNN, 18 Apr. 2020 Salmon, of course, but also smoked trout, whitefish and sable are all gorgeous on a graze board. Katie Workman, NBC News, 12 Dec. 2019 They are not committed to a two-season cycle, private planes and yachts, sable and vicuna. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2019 In Angola, the national team is nicknamed Palancas Negras after giant sable antelopes, the country’s national symbol, famed for its long, curved horns. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, 19 July 2019 They are made of mink, faux mink, sable, silk, cashmere, or synthetic fibers. Beth Teitell,, 3 July 2019 At the time, there were fewer than 44 sable antelope and perhaps a thousand buffalo on one million acres. Paul Steyn, National Geographic, 2 May 2019 Dessert was strawberry sable with lemon verbena cream followed by a selection of assorted fresh fruits, then coffee and petit fours. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 3 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Additionally, a selection of luxurious custom furs from J. Mendel and its fifth-generation creative director Gilles Mendel—ideal for East Coast winters—include a Barguzine sable stroller coat (est. David Nash, Town & Country, 8 Sep. 2021 Why shouldn’t a gypsy’s wedding dress be trimmed with sable? Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 4 June 2021 Halston allegedly actually gave Peretti the choice of $25,000 or a sable coat as compensation (not his apartment). April Long, Town & Country, 1 June 2021 Chiale confidently controls the intense contrast of stark white with sable black on his canvas. Ryan Mccarthy, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2021 Strawberries, both cultivated and wild, are topped with an aloe sorbet served on a corn sable cookie and finished with black pepper and strawberry juice. John Mariani, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 Two small sable palms need to be relocated in my landscape. Tom Maccubbin,, 10 Oct. 2020 And most significantly, Holiday’s vocal powers were broad and deep enough to hold everything, from the bittersweet joy of a pink sunrise to the soft-as-sable disquiet of a too-late night. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 26 Feb. 2021 In real life, Queen Charlotte's dogs were typically white or cream, but these days orange and orange sable are the most popular colors. Kim Campbell Thornton Andrews Mcmeel, Star Tribune, 22 Jan. 2021

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sable


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Middle Low German sabel sable or its fur, from Middle High German zobel, of Slav origin; akin to Russian sobol' sable or its fur

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Time Traveler for sable

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sable



sable antelope

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Cite this Entry

“Sable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sable



English Language Learners Definition of sable

: a small animal that lives in northern Asia and has soft, brown fur
: the fur of the sable


sa·​ble | \ ˈsā-bəl How to pronounce sable (audio) \

Kids Definition of sable

1 : the color black
2 : a meat-eating animal of northern Europe and Asia that is related to the weasel and has soft brown fur

More from Merriam-Webster on sable

Nglish: Translation of sable for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sable


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