sable

1 of 2

noun

sa·​ble ˈsā-bəl How to pronounce sable (audio)
plural sables
1
a
: the color black
b
: black clothing worn in mourning
usually used in plural
2
a 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

sable

2 of 2

adjective

1
: of the color black
2

Examples of sable in a Sentence

Noun a brush made of sable Adjective a beautiful sable cat
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The cats are also consumers of the smallest of the bigger, bulkier antelopes, such as sables and kudus, and are known to gnaw on the occasional rabbit or bird. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 26 Sep. 2023 Natural bristles are sourced from animal fur (squirrels, sables, goats, etc.), which can be difficult to acquire and more labor-intensive — thus, the higher price tag. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 13 July 2023 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, BostonGlobe.com, 3 July 2019
Adjective
Now, a new generation of curators and conservators are working on the Throne, and their cozy laboratory at the museum, filled with magnifiers, sable brushes and purple nitrile gloves, is open to the public a few afternoons each week. Jeff MacGregor, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 This style comes in 13 bright, vibrant colors that are ideal for spring, like raspberry, sable, and kelly green. Jamie Allison Sanders, Peoplemag, 22 Mar. 2024 His living room included an antique Japanese screen hanging on a white wall above a leather banquette with pillow sable heads mounted on silver pedestals and a parsons table. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 6 Dec. 2023 In person the next afternoon, cocooned in a massive charcoal coat over another sable knit set, the actress looks like what she’s found on the other side of the storm. Helena Andrews-Dyer, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 Conley ships lox, sable, whitefish, and Dr. Brown’s up from New York, offering geshmak no other bagel joints nearby can match. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 27 June 2023 How Bella came to be is a secret best discovered in the course of the film’s snaking, globe-circling narrative, though a vertical scar at the base of her neck, hidden beneath a waist-length sheet of sable hair, offers a clue. Guy Lodge, Variety, 1 Sep. 2023 One of the most impressive bagels that comes out of Rose Foods is the Rivington, which features smoked sable (black cod), beet and horseradish cream cheese, capers, and cucumbers. Kate Kassin, Bon Appétit, 27 June 2023 Armed with measurements and a liking for the ‘sable’ brown felt, Landis briefed the hatters. Simon Ingram, Town & Country, 30 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sable

Cite this Entry

“Sable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sable. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

sable

noun
sa·​ble
ˈsā-bəl
plural sables
1
: the color black
2
a
or plural sable : a meat-eating mammal of northern Europe and Asia related to the martens and valued for its soft rich brown fur
b
: the fur or pelt of a sable
sable adjective

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