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


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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

Flowers from Trader Joe's cover my kitchen table, bedroom, and living room. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "I Can't Stop Buying Plants Even Though They Always Die," 9 Jan. 2019 The duo, who's known to keep their relationship private, kept things low-key at their table during the show, but fans still caught them in the middle of some sweet, sneaky exchanges. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Snuck In Lots of PDA During the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Actor Tom Hardy is one of them, and joined the two Princes at their table to hear from victims and discuss possible solutions. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Tom Hardy Hear from Victims of Violent Crime," 12 Dec. 2018 Without an affordable home, a majority of these households face impossible choices between paying rent and putting food on their table, buying medications, or saving for a rainy day. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Elizabeth Warren doubles down on affordable housing legislation," 11 Dec. 2018 This show-stopping double layer cake filled with raspberry jam will be the best centerpiece for your holiday dessert table. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Double White Chocolate Cake," 29 Nov. 2018 But with so many prizes on the table, there’s plenty of reason to practice. Leif Johnson, PCWorld, "Check out this exclusive look at Guild Wars 2's jaw-dropping Infernal Leap roller beetle track," 26 Nov. 2018 The text includes a table of observations that scholars know must be of Mars because of the 780-day cycle. Meghan Bartels,, "Who Discovered Mars, Anyway? A Look Back at the History of the Red Planet," 27 July 2018 On the dining room table: His box of pornographic images of children — including some of herself. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Daughter kills dad after finding his child porn collection. She buried her secret for 12 years," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wanda Nara – the wife and agent of Icardi has tabled a demand of around €8m per year, which is some way off what Inter are willing to offer the 25-year-old., "Inter Preparing to Offer Striker Mauro Icardi New Deal Amid Interest from European Giants," 7 July 2018 The firebox is raised to table height and covered with copper doors. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "West Village Arts and Crafts mansion 'is just spectacular'," 25 May 2018 The City Council decided to table the decision about whether to increase funding for the Stagg Bowl until the city can renegotiate the deal with the NCAA. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Shenandoah caught off-guard by unknown Stagg Bowl costs," 14 Apr. 2018 The government tabled a final version of the 2019 budget to parliament Wednesday after getting the nod from lenders. Raf Casert, The Seattle Times, "Greece: Creditors approve U-turn on pension cuts," 21 Nov. 2018 Last month, the library board tabled a vote in support of moving the mural to the Quiet Reading Room after learning that some residents who were involved in the mural’s restoration had concerns. Jennifer Johnson,, "Park Ridge Library Board looks to return mural to current location after building renovations," 15 June 2018 Manchester City originally tabled a £50m offer for the player - after deciding the asking price by Shakhtar Donetsk for Brazilian Fred was too expensive - but saw their bid knocked back by Napoli's unwavering president Aurelio De Laurentiis., "Manchester City Consider £36m Deal for Jean Michael Seri as Jorginho Move Stalls," 10 June 2018 In addition to the hotel, Fonseca and Almeida, along with Fonseca’s sisters, Marta and Marisa, also own Prado and Prado Mercearia, a full service farm to table restaurant and a grocery, respectively. Cara Sanders, Vogue, "An Insider’s Guide to Lisbon from the Duo Behind the City’s Coolest Boutique Hotel," 8 Sep. 2018 Maladra said tabling the vote until May 7 would give the City Council time to meet with attorneys to make ensure the integrity of the process. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Geneva wants more time to decide landmark status for 1840s Mill Race Inn building," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The most effective way to achieve this goal is to create a balance between different kinds of lighting in your rooms—incorporate table lamps and floor lamps and both upward and downward light. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Design for the New Year," 5 Jan. 2010 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

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

16 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on table

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with table

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for table

Spanish Central: Translation of table

Nglish: Translation of table for Spanish Speakers

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

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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