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


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

Theresa Canales, 47, was inspired to see a voter registration and education table at the event. Vincent T. Davis,, "San Antonio Juneteenth Association hosts Juneteenth festival," 16 June 2019 About the place: Sandwiched between a Realtor's and attorney's offices along Main Street, the restaurant has about 16 tables and seats about eight at the bar. Marc Bona,, "Element 41: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 15 June 2019 Obviously Nashville stands pretty high in the table. Shawn Mcfarland,, "No longer in last place, Hartford Athletic looks to continue point streak against Nashville SC," 15 June 2019 However, the tables were turned when Kardashian decided to ask Jenner about her bathing habits. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kylie Jenner’s Body-Moisturizing Routine Includes Organic Oils She Bought on Amazon," 15 June 2019 In an industry where profit depends on how quickly tables get turned, the logistical challenges of accommodating the invariable questions that come along with consuming cannabis might prove to be more time consuming than first anticipated. Billy Lyons, Fortune, "How to Eat, Drink, and Appreciate Cannabis at Restaurants," 15 June 2019 While the debut of a Gary farmers market consisted of a half-dozen tables, organizers were predicting growth. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary, East Chicago to benefit from series of mobile markets," 14 June 2019 Tens of thousands of fathers have access to these tables. Char Adams,, "Stay-at-Home Dad Talks Partnering with Pampers to Install 5K Changing Tables in Men's Restrooms," 14 June 2019 They also host karaoke nights and have pool tables. Briana Rice,, "Here are 10 of the best LGBTQ-friendly bars in Cincinnati," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Goodell backed a decision made at the owners' meeting last month to table a proposal to change the overtime rule and require each team to have one possession regardless of what happens on the opening OT series. John Wawrow, Houston Chronicle, "NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterates desire to shorten 4-game preseason," 3 June 2019 Other critical issues are tabled for further talks. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "At ACT Theatre, ‘Oslo’ finds crackling drama in back-channel negotiations," 23 Oct. 2018 Whilst no offers have yet been tabled for the midfielder, opportunities for game time could be limited once again next season, with the world class pairing of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos still dominating the Real midfield., "Real Madrid's Julen Lopetegui Reportedly Sees Dani Ceballos as a Vital Player Ahead of Next Season," 4 July 2018 The village said Buckeye had threatened litigation as of Jan. 28, 2016, just days before the Plan Commission tabled a vote that could have given final approval to the project. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Feds, Tinley Park at odds over recordings of closed-door talks related to controversial apartment development," 1 June 2018 On a Thursday morning in April, Manhattan's Cipriani 42nd street is jarringly empty, a wide open dance floor and several un-set folding tables the only occupants of the spectacular, vaulted room. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019 The government could reopen if Trump agreed to sign legislation funding the government, versions of which already have passed both chambers of Congress, and table the polarizing debate over border security. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Inside Trump’s defiance on the longest shutdown ever," 13 Jan. 2019 Both said the matter was tabled because Snyder was not present and that there wouldn't have been enough votes to pass the resolution without her. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "Mayfield Heights' 2018 budget projects more spending than revenues; still leaves $8.5 million balance," 27 Mar. 2018 The 22-year-old impressed for Perugia in Serie B after notching 19 goals in 37 appearances, earning him serious interest from Genoa who tabled €15m before later retracting their offer., "Juventus Set to Offload Two Young Striking Prospects as Squad Overhaul Continues," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Place on top of a large saucer to keep your table mess-free when watering. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "This Super-Easy 'Living Arrangement' Takes Container Gardening to the Next Level," 26 Apr. 2019 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

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

19 Jun 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

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