tableau

noun tab·leau \ ˈta-ˌblō , ta-ˈblō \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of tableau

plural tableaux play \-ˌblōz, -ˈblōz\ also tableaus
1 : a graphic description or representation : picture
  • winsome tableaux of old-fashioned literary days
  • —J. D. Hart
2 : a striking or artistic grouping : arrangement, scene
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

  1. The houses are grouped together in a charming tableau.

Recent Examples of tableau from the Web

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



TABLEAU Defined for English Language Learners

tableau

noun

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

tableau

noun tab·leau \ ˈta-ˌblō \

Definition of tableau for Students

plural tableaux also tableaus \-ˌlōz\
: a scene or event shown by a group of persons who remain still and silent


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