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
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
off the table
: not up for consideration or negotiation That option is now off 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


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

Similarly, the classic Caesar salad is prepared tableside and the roasted chicken for two (above) is carved at the table. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Thomas Keller's New Hudson Yards Restaurant, TAK Room," 1 Apr. 2019 Metz felt fortunate just to have a seat at the table. Glamour, "Chrissy Metz: From 81 Cents in the Bank to Equal Pay on This Is Us," 29 Mar. 2019 My son was taking the photo, and the other two were sitting [at] a table across from me. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "10 Times the Kardashians Hilariously Clapped Back At Instagram Haters," 19 Mar. 2019 In theory, the most important power unions offer employees in times of turmoil is a seat at the table. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 Also, everything is kind of on the table now because of technology. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "5 Interior Designers Reveal the Risks That Could've Failed Spectacularly—And How They Survived," 11 Mar. 2019 While there's still some time before a mission to Europa moves from science fiction (like the underrated horror film Europa One) to science fact, NASA wants every hypothetical option on the table. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A Nuclear Tunneling Worm Could Help Us Find Out What's Beneath Europa's Ice," 17 Dec. 2018 Beyond their stimulating content—several of which include the words and photos of Curbed contributors—these volumes all look stunning on a table. Curbed Staff, Curbed, "18 enticing new books on design, cities, and more," 14 Dec. 2018 Brighten up your dinner table with this refreshing green sides. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Charred Snap Peas with Creamy Tarragon Dressing," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Café Corazon will be one of just a few Mexican restaurants in Mequon, and will seek to differentiate itself as a farm to table establishment with vegan and vegetarian options, according to Wednesday's announcement. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cafe Corazón expanding to Mequon Public Market, joining Beans & Barley, other restaurants," 30 May 2018 For the first time since the 19th century, lawmakers might get the ability to table legislation ahead of the government. Max Colchester, WSJ, "After Brexit Defeat, May Offers Little New on Leaving EU," 21 Jan. 2019 Motions to adjourn! Motions to recommit! Motions to rise and motions to table. Steve Israel,, "What's the greatest book about politics? Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others weigh in.," 12 July 2018 Preparing for November Also at Monday's council meeting, council elected to table a resolution that would have the mayor enter into a contract with Melamed Communications LLC. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "Mayfield Heights' 2018 budget projects more spending than revenues; still leaves $8.5 million balance," 27 Mar. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Finally, move in some midlevel luminaires—table lamps, floor lamps or sconces, ideally ones that are indirect and pleasantly passive. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "Goodbye, Showy Chandeliers. Hello, Low-Key Lighting That Transforms Rooms," 25 Jan. 2019 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

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

23 Apr 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)

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)

1 : tabulate
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

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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