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 tabling (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 All of those elements for Heard are on the table for the Renegades’ season opener against St. Louis at 4 p.m. Sunday. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Former Denton Guyer, Texas playmaker Jerrod Heard has a chance to showcase versatility with Renegades," 7 Feb. 2020 The only hope for American democracy, Lind argued, was a liberal nationalism that united workers across cultural divides and forced the overclass to the negotiating table. Samuel Hammond, National Review, "The Return of Class Conflict," 6 Feb. 2020 Iryani of the Sanaa Center said that both the Saudis and the Houthis had an interest in returning to the negotiating table, if only to ensure that Yemen remained a unified state. Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s rebels were making rare progress in peace talks. Then new violence flared.," 4 Feb. 2020 Olivia then perches her front paws on the table and eats like a human. Kathryn Lindsay,, "So, Taylor Swift & Her Cats Eat At The Same Dinner Table," 1 Feb. 2020 Blumenfeld did not directly answer a question about what possible solutions to the debt crisis are on the table, noting there were many models to consider nationwide that support students before, during and after college. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With student loan debt in Wisconsin surpassing $24 billion, Evers creates task force to seek solutions," 29 Jan. 2020 In fact, according to research done by the U.S. Travel Association, Americans left 768 million days of vacation on the table in 2018, and of those that did use some of their PTO time, only nine were used for travel. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "What ESSENCE Editors Are Planning On National Plan For Vacation Day," 28 Jan. 2020 In North Korea there had been hope that Mr. Trump’s unorthodox approach might bring the country to the negotiating table. Time, "The End Is Nigh: Doomsday Clock Reaches 100 Seconds to Midnight," 23 Jan. 2020 The library has said the disagreements at the negotiating table revolve around wages. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Library workers to strike Feb. 4 if deal can’t be reached," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The motion was tabled by a vote of 224-193 along party lines. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Democrats block move to rebuke Pelosi for shredding Trump speech," 6 Feb. 2020 However, it was tabled last week in a 5-3 subcommittee vote. Washington Post, "Virginia bill aims to save lives in event of overdose," 5 Feb. 2020 The seventh amendment was tabled along party lines, just like the six before it. NBC News, "Highly anticipated Bolton amendment arrives," 24 Jan. 2020 Last year, an earlier iteration of the same bill was tabled also because of the opposition of the California Medical Association, among others. Nora Neus, CNN, "Ban on cosmetic surgeries on intersex infants fails key California vote," 13 Jan. 2020 The issue was tabled in October amid concerns from some commissioners over making sweeping changes throughout the district to the ordinance that was put in place to protect nearby residents. Lisa Maria Garza,, "Last call extended for some Hannibal Square restaurants in Winter Park," 2 Dec. 2019 Consideration of the sign was tabled until the board’s Sept. 26 meeting. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Board members approve business design proposals," 28 Sep. 2019 Gilpin was just seen in theaters this month in The Grudge remake and she wouldn’t been seen in The Hunt prior to that, but the film was indefinitely tabled following backlash involving President Donald Trump. Nick Romano,, "GLOW star Betty Gilpin to play Ann Coulter in Impeachment: American Crime Story," 23 Jan. 2020 The bill Nixon urged lawmakers to pass was also tabled 6-2. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Virginia Democrats defeat Republican proposal to loosen state gun laws," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 With its polished brass luggage racks, Art Deco table lamps, and stunning mosaic bathroom floors, the train is a mobile museum to the Golden Age of train travel. Jennifer M. Wood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Belmond British Pullman Is Taking ‘Downton Abbey’ Fans from London to Highclere Castle," 26 Aug. 2019 Note: For Day 8, legs will be in table top position. Rozalynn S. Frazier,, "These Chest Exercises Will Totally Transform Your Upper Body in 21 Days," 9 Aug. 2019 So far, products include a table lamp speaker ($179) and book-shelf speaker ($99). Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Sonos Narrows Losses in Q3, With Help of IKEA Partnership," 8 Aug. 2019 Summer in Belgium table beer, by ColdFire Brewing Table beers are traditionally lower-alcohol beers that families would serve with meals. Andre Meunier,, "I tried 17 beers at the Oregon Brewers Festival; here’s how they rate," 25 July 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Table.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for table


How to pronounce table (audio)

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)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on table

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for table

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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