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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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

The operating rooms are big — 300 square feet each, with ample empty space surrounding the operating table, anesthesiology equipment, various light and power sources and diagnostic equipment, and flat-screen monitors. Ron Hurtibise,, "Cleveland Clinic readies new $53 million Coral Springs Family Health Center," 13 July 2018 If serving a western table, for instance, women are served first. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 Atmosphere was not factored in — if a burger is great enough, a dashboard is every bit as good as a table, right? Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s top 4 burger spots — ranked by Seattle Times critics," 10 July 2018 There are eight tables for outdoor dining, sheltered under red and black canopies. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Public Landing in Lockport," 8 July 2018 The first snippet finds Swizz Beatz setting the table for Meek with his electric ad-libs. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Meek Mill Teases New Songs With Swizz Beatz, Jeremih & PnB Rock on Instagram," 5 July 2018 Four years later, Phillips said her family continues to set up their campsite in the same spot, a space on the grass next to Lake Michigan large enough to fit six or seven tents and tables for food that Phillips prepares ahead of time. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Many camp out before lakefront fireworks every year. But it's not all about the fireworks.," 3 July 2018 Nowadays, the view from Dr. Hourizadeh’s waiting area is of people sitting at tables shaded by orange umbrellas. James Barron, New York Times, "Lounge in Them. Dash Through Them. But Don’t Call Them Parks.," 13 July 2018 At the reception for 120, guests sat at tables named after some of the couple’s favorite feminists, including singer/songwriter Debby Friedman, mathematician Emmy Noether, and scholar bell hooks., "Philadelphia weddings: Moriah Benjoseph and Ben Nassau," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Under a Spanish law that prevents a power vacuum, Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez, who tabled the no-confidence motion, would immediately become the new leader of the 19-member euro zone’s No. Washington Post, "World Digest: May 31, 2018," 31 May 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 No. Aritz Parra,, "Spain's conservative government poised to fall, Socialists prepare for power," 31 May 2018 Pelosi and 125 other Democrats sided with Republicans to table the motion. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Billionaire activist wants to impeach Trump. NC Democrats aren't so sure. | Charlotte Observer," 18 May 2018 This rule was challenged, after Bundesliga 2 side St. Pauli tabled a motion for a vote., "Borussia Dortmund CEO Warns of 'Ideological Divide' in German Football After Controversial 50+1 Vote," 29 Mar. 2018 In March, the district tabled its referendum proposal planned for the May ballot. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Big cuts, teacher raises recommended for Indianapolis Public Schools," 29 June 2018 The Senate Appropriations Committee recently tabled a measure — by a vote of 21-10 — to ban regulators' use of federal funds to punish banks for working with legal pot businesses. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Navarro stems stock sell-off by discounting trade war," 26 June 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

9 Oct 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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Comments on table

What made you want to look up table? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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