noun, often attributive
ta·​ble | \ˈtā-bəl \

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

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 \

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

bread, chow, chuck [chiefly West], comestibles, eatables, eats, edibles, fare, food, foodstuffs, grub, meat, provender, provisions, tucker [chiefly Australian], viands, victuals, vittles

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Examples of table in a Sentence


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.


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

Ryan spoke with seized drugs in baggies with a street value of about $200,000, cutting agents, and more than $60,000 in cash organized on the table in front of her. Danny Mcdonald,, "Bust nets $200,000 worth of illegal drugs, Middlesex DA says," 13 July 2018 Attach them to a board or spread them out on a table. Jennifer Adams,, "Ask Jennifer Adams: Mixing and matching fabric patterns for a vintage look," 13 July 2018 The retirees say one possible solution — the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 — is the best chance currently on the table to save their pension benefits. Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "KC union retirees join rally in Ohio for pension fix — or is it a bailout?," 13 July 2018 All this was unimaginable a year ago, but a trade war that results in eliminating European and Chinese automotive tariffs could put it and the chicken tax on the table. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Trump's trade war could threaten US pickup production and jobs," 13 July 2018 And while viewing is down somewhat in general during the summer months versus January, when the Gorsuch pick was announced, that does not hold for news events of this magnitude with such epic matters as the future of Roe v. Wade on the table. David Zurawik,, "Trump's TV messaging machine not looking quite so mighty these days," 12 July 2018 The Phillies are still talking with the Orioles about a potential Manny Machado trade, but the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Brewers are still considered as the teams with the best offers on the table. Scooby Axson,, "MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Make 'Strong' Offer For Manny Machado," 12 July 2018 But in other cases, laying it all on the table truly kills the vibe. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Why I Choose to Pursue the Pervier Side of Life," 12 July 2018 Back at the restaurant in Phoenix, Martinez sat in a booth next to Jonathan, who played with the salt and pepper shakers on the table. Teo Armus, Washington Post, "‘Daddy, when are you coming to get me?’," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Keeping the healthy-food theme, Robbins said Mesa wants to lease the house out to a developer to transform the historic house into a farm to table restaurant. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Mesa plans locally sourced restaurant, farmers market to combat food desert," 18 June 2018 Council members originally planned to revisit the ordinance 60 days after it was tabled. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Naperville to again consider pet store regulations after state fails to act," 1 June 2018 Comcast tabled a proposal of 12.50 pounds per share for Sky in February, and Sky’s stock has traded consistently above the Comcast offer as investors anticipated Fox or Disney would come back with more. Bloomberg, Fortune, "The Stakes Just Got Higher in the 21st Century Fox v. Comcast Battle for Sky," 11 July 2018 Prime developers of the Soyuz spacecraft, RKK Energia, tabled plans for flying its historic but venerable three-seater as close as 90 kilometers from the Moon at the turn of the 21st century. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "Russia's Soyuz Spacecraft Could Find New Life as a Lunar Taxi," 6 July 2018 Last September the zoning committee indefinitely tabled a vote on GlenStar’s proposal. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "News / Housing Lost battle on affordable housing means war on aldermanic prerogative will continue," 26 June 2018 The council tabled a vote on Brenan’s ouster Tuesday, due to a family emergency that forced Councilwoman Maretta Scott to leave early. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Castle Hills descends into municipal rancor and confusion," 15 June 2018 Meeting minutes format debated Approval for the minutes from the council’s last meeting was tabled due to reporting errors brought up by McLeod. Marialuisa Rincon, Houston Chronicle, "Shenandoah News & Notes: June 13," 14 June 2018 Under a Spanish law that prevents a power vacuum, Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who tabled the no-confidence motion, would immediately become the new leader of the 19-country eurozone’s number four economy and a prominent EU leader. Aritz Parra,, "Spain’s government is poised to fall; Socialists set to take the helm," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Kapur doesn’t want wordy chef-splanations to interrupt the revelry, so most dishes are delivered table side with warm, unpretentious words of welcome. Ali Bouzari,, "Housemade: The magic of Liholiho Yacht Club," 22 June 2018 Rather than table numbers, guests looked for Philadelphia street signs., "Philadelphia weddings: Jessica Atkinson and Barnett Pearlstein," 1 June 2018 Savings on sofas, table lamps, wall art, nightstands and outdoor patio furniture are just the start. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "Give your home a major spring update with these Memorial Day deals," 24 May 2018 That takes off the table U.S. levies on $150 billion of Chinese goods in the near term, as well as Chinese border taxes on $50 billion in U.S. goods. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Welcome China Trade Truce," 21 May 2018 Try exchanging the overhead light for a chandelier or swapping table lamps for wall sconces or even hanging pendants. Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "10 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Bedroom," 22 Jan. 2018 And even after all that travel, Markle and Prince Harry weren't seated together at the celebration thanks to Pippa's strict table arrangements that separated significant others during the dinner. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Was Meghan Markle at Pippa Middleton's Wedding?," 22 May 2017 Plume in Washington, D.C., offers nonalcoholic beverage pairings for kids’ meals using a table side cart. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "High-End Dining for the High-Chair Set," 3 Apr. 2018 The team were staying at the Abba Huesca Hotel ahead of their trip to the top of the table side., "Segunda Division Star Rushed to Hospital After Falling From Third Floor of Hotel," 31 Mar. 2018

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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Learn More about table

Dictionary Entries near table






tableau curtain

Table Bay

Statistics for table

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for table

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

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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)

: to decide not to discuss (something) until a later time

: to formally present (something) for discussion


ta·​ble | \ˈtā-bəl \

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 \

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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