noun, often attributive
\ ˈtab How to pronounce tab (audio) \

Definition of tab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a short projecting device: such as
(1) : a small flap or loop by which something may be grasped or pulled
(2) : a projection from a card used as an aid in filing
b : a small insert, addition, or remnant
c : appendage, extension especially : one of a series of small pendants forming a decorative border or edge of a garment
d : a small auxiliary airfoil hinged to a control surface (such as a trailing edge) to help stabilize an airplane in flight — see airplane illustration
2 [partly short for table entry 1; partly from sense 1]
a : close surveillance : watch keep tabs on trends
b : a creditor's statement : bill, check
c : cost the tab for the new program
3 [short for tabulator] : a key on a keyboard that indents text by a preset amount
4 [by shortening]
a : tablet
b : tabloid


tabbed; tabbing

Definition of tab (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish or ornament with tabs
2 : to single out : designate
3 : tabulate

Synonyms for tab

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of tab in a Sentence

Noun Insert the tab into this slot to close the box. a notebook with index tabs The tab on the zipper is broken. He ran up a $200 bar tab. He put the drinks on his tab. Verb After you type your name in the first box, you can move to the next box by tabbing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the Boosts tab, patrons will find daily odds boosts that move the odds of specific wagers in the player’s favor. Xl Media, cleveland, 8 Aug. 2022 Drugmakers generally like the out-of-pocket cap because the federal government will pick up the tab after patients spend the maximum. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2022 To celebrate the bride and groom, skincare brand Sunday Riley had stepped in to pick up the tab. Mattie Kahn, Town & Country, 7 Aug. 2022 The free admission ticket will also be available in the digital edition of the Aug. 4 paper, which can be found under the e-edition tab of IndyStar's website. The Indianapolis Star, 2 Aug. 2022 Under the Virtual Background tab, click the Blur setting. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 Under the Settings tab, hit the Add New Product button, and then follow the on-screen instructions. Christian De Looper, BGR, 7 June 2022 Earlier this week, under the visit tab on the museum's website, the foundation explained that the new museum will open in the fall of 2022. Neal Earley, Arkansas Online, 16 Apr. 2022 Start by clicking Create reel under the Reels tab in your Facebook feed. Reece Rogers, Wired, 9 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The video and Reels tab on your profile, meanwhile, is being consolidated into one home for all recordings. Stephanie Mlot, PCMAG, 22 July 2022 Herta’s since been added to McLaren F1’s testing program and could be turning laps at an F1 track during an F1 weekend as soon as this fall, should Andreas Seidel and Zak Brown tab him for an FP1 opportunity. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 7 May 2022 The USA TODAY Network has confirmed the 34-year-old Scheyer will tab Kentucky assistant Jai Lucas as Duke's newest assistant coach. David Thompson, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 Head straight to the bestsellers tab on Sephora and browse the reviews. Jamila Stewart, Essence, 4 Feb. 2022 Click on the helpful links, forms and applications tab to complete the registration form in advance or pick up a form in person at the Senior Center, 28114 Lorain Road, North Olmsted. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 11 Jan. 2022 Employers who seek out former workers can tab top performers or those with specialized skills. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, 9 Dec. 2021 My app, select the People tab, and choose to Share My Location or Start Sharing Location. Simon Hill, Wired, 3 Oct. 2021 Their followers tab is usually superimposed in the frame, and the number either waxes or wanes depending on the action in the plot. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tab


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tab


origin unknown

Learn More About tab

Dictionary Entries Near tab

Taanith Esther



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tab

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for tab


\ ˈtab How to pronounce tab (audio) \

Kids Definition of tab

1 : a short flap or tag attached to something for filing, pulling, or hanging
2 : a careful watch Let's keep tabs on the weather.


\ ˈtab How to pronounce tab (audio) \

Medical Definition of tab

: tablet

More from Merriam-Webster on tab

Nglish: Translation of tab for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!