Definition of tableau
tableauxplay \-ˌblōz, -ˈblōz\ also
1 : a graphic description or representation : picture winsome tableaux of old-fashioned literary days — J. D. Hart
3 [short for tableau vivant (from French, literally, living picture)] : a depiction of a scene usually presented on a stage by silent and motionless costumed participants
Examples of tableau in a Sentence
The houses are grouped together in a charming tableau.
Recent Examples of tableau from the Web
The book covers 10 civilizations, including the Stone Age, Han dynasty China, the Maya, the Vikings and medieval Europe, each of which is depicted in an elaborate tableau with 20 anachronistic errors.
Having established the conceit of witches being tethered to the ground with ribbons, Nyoni makes great use of these visually striking streamers, weaving them into tableaux that resemble giant art installations.
Introducing a new box — one adorned with winged donuts flying above a beach tableau — is no small feat for a store averse to change.
Rising above them like some white-railinged, unfolding-accordion, time-warp tableau from Christopher Nolan's Inception, the atrium of this Financial District showpiece practically dares you not to Instagram it.
The whole tableau was like a scene from Blade Runner on Ambien.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tableau'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of tableau
French, from Middle French tablel, diminutive of table, from Old French
First Known Use: 1660
TABLEAU Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tableau for English Language Learners
: a view or sight that looks like a picture
: a scene that typically shows an event in history or literature and that is created on a stage by a group of people who are dressed in costumes and who do not speak or move
TABLEAU Defined for Kids
Definition of tableau for Students
: a scene or event shown by a group of persons who remain still and silent
Seen and Heard
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