noun, often attributive
ta·​ble | \ ˈtā-bəl How to pronounce table (audio) \
plural tables

Definition of table

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs
b(1) : a group of people assembled at or as if at a table
(2) : a legislative or negotiating session the bargaining table
c(1) : a supply or source of food
(2) : an act or instance of assembling to eat : meal sit down to table
2a : a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference
b : a condensed enumeration : list a table of contents
4a tables plural : backgammon
b : one of the two leaves of a backgammon board or either half of a leaf
6 : something that resembles a table especially in having a plane surface: such as
a : the upper flat surface of a cut precious stone — see brilliant illustration
b(1) : tableland
(2) : a horizontal stratum
off the table
: not up for consideration or negotiation That option is now off the table.
on the table
: up for consideration or negotiation the subject is not on the table
under the table
1 : into a stupor can drink you under the table
2 : in a covert manner took money under the table


tabled; tabling\ ˈtā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce table (audio) \

Definition of table (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to remove (something, such as a parliamentary motion) from consideration indefinitely
b British : to place on the agenda
c : to put on a table
2 : to enter in a table



Definition of table (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : suitable for a table or for use at a table a table lamp
2 : suitable for serving at a table table grapes
3 : proper for conduct at a table table manners

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Synonyms for table

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of table in a Sentence

Noun They were sitting at the dining table. She reserved a table for two at the restaurant. He had the attention of the entire table. The table shows the salary of each employee. Verb The committee tabled the issue until the next meeting. She plans to table a motion for debate in Parliament.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Groups of up to 75 may now gather indoors and 150 outdoors, and restaurants, bars, breweries, libraries and other businesses may seat up to 15 people at a table. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Dining with the stars, multitasking surgeon, 4 a.m. last call: News from around our 50 states," 1 Mar. 2021 It’s about who’s offered a seat at the table and who was kept out of the rooms where decisions are made. oregonlive, "2021 Golden Globe Awards: A mess of screw-ups, some good jokes and a few emotional speeches (review)," 1 Mar. 2021 It’s about who’s offered a seat at the table and who was kept out of the rooms where decisions are made. Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone, "Watch Jane Fonda’s Moving Acceptance Speech at the 2021 Golden Globes," 1 Mar. 2021 Whose ideas are rewarded more over others, despite everyone speaking at the table? Nicole Silver, Forbes, "The Future Of Workforce Equity And How You Can Help Create It," 26 Feb. 2021 Most importantly, a union gives employees a seat at the table to negotiate fair pay, scheduling and more workplace policies. William Thornton |, al, "Tina Fey among TV, film writers supporting Amazon union efforts," 26 Feb. 2021 But time has shown that there’s usually someone at the table to say something humorous. Marlene Klotz,, "An ode to pre-pandemic dining | Opinion," 26 Feb. 2021 For too many Black families in this country, there are empty seats at the table and a painful reminder of lives lost to COVID-19. Denarra Simmons, Essence, "Why The Black Community Should Double Down On Science Right Now, Not Fear It," 24 Feb. 2021 Be sure to be open and forthcoming with your information, own up to your decisions, be willing to make the tough calls – not just the most politically expedient, and make sure everyone has a seat at the table. Dan Mcgowan,, "These former lieutenant governors who became governors have some advice for Dan McKee," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb County Council member David Yungmann, the only no vote on the final legislation, pushed the council members to table the legislation in favor of more adjustments by way of new amendments. Ana Faguy,, "Howard County Council passes act prohibiting use of certain single-use plastic by restaurants and retailers," 1 Mar. 2021 After listening to public comment, the commissioners voted unanimously to table Ms. Rasheed’s proposal, a $689,000 dollar project steered by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the city’s Economic Development Corporation. New York Times, "A Monument Honoring Brooklyn Abolitionists Stalls Under Scrutiny," 25 Jan. 2021 Stafford brought his concerns to Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood, a league source said, and the group decided to table those discussions until this week. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford seek fresh start via trade: How it came to this," 24 Jan. 2021 Avalos could have been confirmed Tuesday, but the Common Council was forced to table the matter because a background check on Avalos was performed by an outside firm and not by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, as required by city ordinance. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With Brunson retiring next week, Fire and Police Commission selects Norman as next acting chief," 17 Dec. 2020 The City Council on Tuesday voted 8-0 to table a vote on the 2021 city budget. Laurinda Joenks, Arkansas Online, "Springdale council tables budget decision," 10 Dec. 2020 But the House followed on Aug. 18 and voted to table the ultimate suffrage vote two times, and two times the vote resulted in a tie. USA Today, "View more than 100 photos of Tennessee’s role in the women’s suffrage movement," 19 Aug. 2020 Even those who prefer to table deficit reduction until the economy recovers can be forgiven for beginning to plan these reforms now. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of December 7," 12 Dec. 2020 The Lake County Council and the Lake County Sheriff expressed concerns Thursday after the Commissioners voted to table a purchase request for thermometer kiosks, which are considered personal protective equipment. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Purchasing battle continues as sheriff goes to county council after commissioners table temperature kiosk request," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But during the second quarter, when shutdown measures took hold, the non-table proportion shot up to 90%. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Robot cooks and virtual kitchens: How the restaurant industry looks to technology for help," 19 Oct. 2020 Presented and mixed table side, the salad is a collection of simple ingredients that, when methodically combined, become spectacular. Justin Phillips,, "How Burma Superstar’s quiet founder created a Burmese food empire," 6 Mar. 2020 Use a mix of sources — floor lamps, table lamps, sconces and overheads. New York Times, "Tired of Winter? Here’s How to Make Your Home a Haven," 7 Feb. 2020 There’s a mix of table lamps, task lights, wall lights, and standing floor lamps on offer with shapes that range from tall mushrooms to something reminiscent of the Bat Signal. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "These Sleek Lamps Illuminate the Promise of 3D Printing," 26 Feb. 2020 The space also was updated to include more table seating and brighter decor. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "After 2 years, this popular south Tempe restaurant is closed. Here's what we know," 17 Jan. 2020 Pull your naval in towards your spine and bring your knees up to a table top position. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "Reformer Pilates: What it is, who it's best for and how to do some moves without the reformer," 10 Jan. 2020 Create balanced, even lighting with floor and table lamps throughout the room, in addition to a large ceiling fixture for overhead light. Washington Post, "Out with the dated ‘disaster room,’ in with a comfortable and inviting family room," 2 Jan. 2020 Maybe a cause for some of the table time-limit violations? Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "7 Surprising Facts About L.A.’s First Cannabis Café," 1 Oct. 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for table


Middle English, from Old English tabule & Anglo-French table; both from Latin tabula board, tablet, list

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Time Traveler for table

Time Traveler

The first known use of table was before the 12th century

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Statistics for table

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Table.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for table



English Language Learners Definition of table

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of furniture that has a flat top and one or more legs
: a piece of furniture with a flat surface that is designed to be used for a particular purpose
: a group of people who are sitting at a table



English Language Learners Definition of table (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to decide not to discuss (something) until a later time
British : to formally present (something) for discussion


ta·​ble | \ ˈtā-bəl How to pronounce table (audio) \

Kids Definition of table

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of furniture having a smooth flat top on legs the kitchen table a picnic table
2 : food to eat Grandma sets a good table.
3 : the people around a table The whole table ordered fish.
4 : short list a table of contents
5 : an arrangement in rows or columns for reference multiplication tables


tabled; tabling

Kids Definition of table (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : tabulate
2 : to put on a table


ta·​ble | \ ˈtā-bəl How to pronounce table (audio) \

Medical Definition of table

1 : a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs especially : one used for examining or operating
2 : either of the two layers of compact bone of the skull which are separated by cancellous diploe

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