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

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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, "Different strokes To see the world as it really is, try painting it in watercolours," 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, "In 1911, another epidemic swept through China. That time, the world came together," 18 Apr. 2020 Salmon, of course, but also smoked trout, whitefish and sable are all gorgeous on a graze board. Katie Workman, NBC News, "Think beyond your basic pepperoni and cheddar. Here's how to build the snacky graze board of your dreams.," 12 Dec. 2019 They are not committed to a two-season cycle, private planes and yachts, sable and vicuna. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Millennials Are Taking Over Fashion, Too," 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, "The most underused tools in fighting wildlife poaching in Africa are its beloved national soccer teams," 19 July 2019 They are made of mink, faux mink, sable, silk, cashmere, or synthetic fibers. Beth Teitell,, "When it comes to eyelash extensions, the demand is unreal," 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, "How the world’s largest lion relocation was pulled off," 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, "Queen Elizabeth Hosts a Lavish State Banquet for President Trump at Buckingham Palace," 3 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Suddenly, another face, similar but somehow crueler, sable with red eyes, poked towards the smoke. cleveland, "Emerald Forest-wind: A story from Write About Now," 19 Nov. 2019 Its texture is otherworldly: crispy like biscotti, dissolves into toasty sweet chickpea sand with the slightest pressure, making the best French sable cookies jealous., "Koolfi Creamery is making the Bay Area’s most inventive ice cream," 18 Sep. 2019 Even the animal park needed replenishing, as soldiers had eaten most of the country’s prized giant sable antelope. USA Today, "Were Wanda Tucker’s ancestors America’s first slaves? A difficult search for answers in far-away Angola," 22 Aug. 2019 Riders sit atop a sable leather seat that matches the brown leather handlebar grips, echoing the luxe carseats and steering wheels of yesteryear. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Classy e-bike is designed like a luxe vintage car," 14 Aug. 2019 But still others cling defiantly to their mink trench, their sable shrug, their fox poncho—arguing that fur is warm and gorgeous, and among the most sustainable materials on Earth. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "7 Designers on the Future of Fur in Fashion," 14 Aug. 2019 The figurines Ezie photographed at Prada also have cartoonishly large lips and sable black complexions. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Prada pulled a collection of figurines that drew comparisons to anti-black caricatures," 14 Dec. 2018

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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Sable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for sable


How to pronounce sable (audio)

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

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

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