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 Some 150 tables were set up in a Vatican hall where the pope usually holds weekly indoor audiences with the public. Washington Post, "Pope decries that ‘greed of a few’ worsens poverty of others," 17 Nov. 2019 The food was excellent, the staff bringing coffee and juice to the many tables made all of us vets feel appreciated. Sainted & Tainted Writers, Twin Cities, "Sainted: You who made us vets feel appreciated. Tainted: Whoever designed the I-35 split at Forest Lake.," 16 Nov. 2019 Its slots business improved, with $22.3 million in revenue, but its table games — which have been unusually strong compared with slots — dropped to $23.5 million., "The figures were released amid increasing evidence that the market has grown saturated in the Northeast. The owners of Plainridge and the nearby Twin River casino in Rhode Island have been reckoning with the marketing efforts of Wynn Resorts’ massive Everett casino.," 16 Nov. 2019 Get the recipe: Wild rice stuffing is rarely anyone’s favorite on the Thanksgiving table. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appétit, "Crispy Black Rice and Sweet Chinese Sausage Team Up for the Thanksgiving Side of Our Dreams," 16 Nov. 2019 At the event, passersby could stop at tables dedicated to explaining composting and recycling electronics. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis' recycling reputation is far from favorable — local organizations are trying to change that," 15 Nov. 2019 All was quiet as the deejay loaded in the sound system and the caterers polished glassware and set tables for the guests. Sarah Prior, CBS News, "Meet Mutley: The dog who crashed a wedding and helped solve his master's murder," 15 Nov. 2019 Frazee sat at the defense table on the left side of the room, dressed in a blue plaid button down shirt. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Kelsey Berreth murder case: Bloodstain expert testifies that witness’s description of blood at crime scene consistent with blunt force," 15 Nov. 2019 Its funding ratio of 40.7% is one of the worst in America, according to the Centre for Retirement Research (CRR) in Boston (see table). The Economist, "America’s public-sector pension schemes are trillions of dollars short," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cuisine is organic, farm to table specializing in traditional, vegan, vegetarian and most other dietary requirements. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "Restaurant party spaces for that coming holiday soiree and beyond," 14 Nov. 2019 Gaurav Gogoi, a lawmaker from the opposition Indian National Congress party, intends to table a new Air Act to replace one that was enacted in 1981. CNN, "Schools were shut and flights diverted. But air pollution still isn't a political issue in India," 6 Nov. 2019 Legislation to liberalize housing regulations got tabled Ultimately, the only way to make housing affordable is to build a lot more of it. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Apple wants affordable housing in California—but laws stand in the way," 4 Nov. 2019 The vote was 218 to 185 to table the resolution, which the Republican minority had introduced. Fox News, "Trump bashes Clinton's 'Russian asset' suggestion against Gabbard: 'She's crazy'," 22 Oct. 2019 Unlike its brethren, any negative talk about this particular bird seems to mostly have been tabled., "People still love “Limpy the Town Turkey.”," 19 Oct. 2019 The media frenzy surrounding Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati rolls on, with reports in Spain suggesting the club are prepared to table a new deal to reflect the 16-year-old's first team status., "Barcelona Keen to Reward Ansu Fati With New Contract to Reflect First Team Status," 14 Oct. 2019 That will not allow enough time to hold the usual Question Time with the prime minister, but Mr Bercow said MPs could table urgent questions and motions. The Economist, "Boris Johnson and his Brexit plans suffer a blow in the Supreme Court," 24 Sep. 2019 These latest geopolitical flash points have been cited for Temasek Holdings Pte’s decision to table the sale of its $3 billion interest in A.S. Watson, Bloomberg reporters Manuel Baigorri, Joyce Koh and Vinicy Chan wrote Wednesday. Washington Post, "This Drugstore Is a $3 Billion Headache," 4 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 But that casino features slot machines and not table games and lacks many of the amenities offered by full-scale resort casinos such as MGM and Encore. Jon Chesto,, "Encore Boston Harbor took in $16.9 million in gaming revenue during opening week," 15 July 2019 Around a table laden with both traditional American Thanksgiving food and traditional Nigerian food, Courtney's father tells of his struggles and triumphs with his large extended family. Jessica Ciosek,, ""I Feel Like Every Girl Should Play Sports"," 20 June 2019 Our biggest problem was table space, with copper tureens, silver tins, plates, beer bottles and water glasses moved like jigsaw puzzle pieces as new courses arrived. Michael Mayo,, "Review: Bombay Darbar brings some new flavor (Indian) to Las Olas," 13 June 2019 Use For: Task lighting, table lamps, and reading lamps. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Foolproof Guide to the Different Types of Light Bulbs," 8 June 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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Learn More about table

Statistics for table

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for table

The first known use of table was before the 12th century

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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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