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

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 Sitting with the older teens on two picnic tables, Walsh provided insight on leadership and community engagement. J.d. Capelouto,, "At harbor island camp, teens train to be civic leaders," 13 July 2018 In April, Scott skipped a Trump round-table discussion of the tax-cut package in South Florida, heading out of state to raise money for his Senate campaign instead. Washington Post, "In Senate race, Florida governor in balancing act with Trump," 13 July 2018 Photo: istock With these new plates came different foods and table manners. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "The Comfort of Bowl Food," 13 July 2018 The World Series of Poker Main Event is headed to the second day of final-table play. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Meet the Michiganders who made World Series of Poker final table," 13 July 2018 The New Braunfels shop can handle 562 people, according to the fire marshal, mostly on big wooden picnic tables sprawled across concrete floors. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "52 Weeks of BBQ: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que," 13 July 2018 The Wolf’s Den includes a recreation area with pingpong tables, and arcade and video games that children staying at the campground can use. Dave Altimari,, "Family of Two Children Files Lawsuit Against Campground After Alleged Sexual Assault," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chelsea are said to be preparing to table a bid for Dinamo Zagreb defender Filip Benkovic, with the fee rumoured to be around £25m., "Chelsea Lining Up £25m Move for 20-Year-Old Dinamo Zagreb Defender," 8 July 2018 With the Golovkin rematch tabled, Rafael reports that Alvarez's camp instead has extended an offer to the camp of middleweight contender Daniel Jacobs for a Sept. 15 PPV fight in Las Vegas. Matt Bonesteel,, "The Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch looks to be all but dead," 6 June 2018 Israeli media reported that elections could be held as early as June, if a motion to dissolve Israel’s parliament is tabled this week. Washington Post, "Israel’s Netanyahu in emergency talks amid coalition crisis," 11 Mar. 2018 The stipend comes five years after Walker tabled a proposal to increase her pay to about $150,000 a year. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "SEIU Local 1000 board approves $143,000 stipend for top leaders," 30 June 2016 The announcement comes on the heels of the Geneva City Council's decision to table a decision until next month on whether to designate the limestone building which dates back to the 1840s as a historic landmark. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Building at old Mill Race Inn site makes Endangered Historic Places list," 25 Apr. 2018 But in mid-May, Xerox backed out of the deal and settled with the activists, who agreed to table a proxy fight after several months of drama. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Fujifilm Sues Xerox for More Than $1 Billion After Canceled Merger," 18 June 2018 In other business, the approval of a planned unit development allowing owners of an office building at 1717 Deerfield Road to build a parking garage was tabled as the village and property owners finalize agreement details. Steve Sadin,, "Deerfield moves to regulate small cell antennas," 9 July 2018 The issue was tabled at the last commissioners court after several of them wanted answers and an explanation why Dayton Park was the only applicant. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty County commissioners quibble over GLO funds dispersal," 22 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

11 Sep 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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