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

Yes, Groupon—the online coupon mecca that also sells discounted fitness classes and foosball tables. Lauren Weber, Scientific American, "Fetal Scans and Mammograms—There’s a Groupon for That," 7 Sep. 2019 Guedes also underlines the shrinking of their world by making a prolonged, dimly lit dinner-table scene the centerpiece of the second half, also visually suggesting that the twilight years might be upon the Fernandes family. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Domain' ('A herdade'): Film Review | Venice 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 What’s the song in the play, the one about empty chairs at comrades’ tables? Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: In tears, with hope, Nick Buoniconti’s sons promise to carry on his dream | Commentary," 7 Sep. 2019 Dobie’s Adam Robicheaux came in from the right side to block a Bellaire punt in the first quarter, setting the table for Dobie’s second TD and a 14-0 lead. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Dobie matches longest non-district winning streak in 8 seasons with victory over Bellaire," 7 Sep. 2019 Accounts of Avenatti’s extraordinary negotiating tactics and the subsequent alliance between Nike and federal prosecutors to turn the tables dominated the news cycle for several days. oregonlive, "Bad blood, betrayal turns L.A. coach into Nike whistleblower," 7 Sep. 2019 These ghostly brownies make for a fabulous addition to any Halloween dessert table. Tara Bench, Country Living, "Marshmallow Ghost Brownies," 6 Sep. 2019 In the course of her career, Dodd has dressed up dining tables, launched a viral footwear trend, and put a new twist on taxidermy. Anchorage Daily News, "MAKING IT: This Alaska artist’s career has been a series of leaps of faith," 6 Sep. 2019 Scientific items found include pieces of weather balloons, thermometers, astronomic tables, journals with meteorological data and textbooks on meteorology stamped with the seal of Germany’s Navy. Fox News, "Hitler's secret Nazi war machine revealed in hidden bases," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Conservatives are looking to filibuster in the upper chamber to block it, and more than 100 amendments have been tabled by Conservative peers. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "The UK parliament just voted to delay Brexit—for the third time," 4 Sep. 2019 The proposal was tabled two weeks ago by the authority. Robert Higgs,, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine opposed to state stripping tax abatement decisions from Cleveland on Ohio City project," 29 Aug. 2019 Grapefruit took his ace and tabled his jack of hearts — and South ruffed. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Aug. 25, 2019," 25 Aug. 2019 Here are a few other notable changes that were tabled by the government and have been cleared by parliament: Protection of good samaritans: No one who helps a road accident victim will be held liable for any negligence while providing assistance. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "India is raising the penalty on drunk driving by five times," 1 Aug. 2019 The proposal — which would include raising the age for vaping products — initially was brought forward in March, but was tabled by the City Council until after May’s citywide elections. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "Health advocates push Denver to raise tobacco purchase age to fight “growing epidemic” of teen vaping," 13 Aug. 2019 The measure was tabled by a bipartisan vote of 332 to 95, effectively killing it. Los Angeles Times, "House rejects effort to force vote on impeaching President Trump," 17 July 2019 Universities minister Jo Johnson, who had tabled an amendment to the government’s immigration bill in April, calling for a two-year post-study work visa option for international student, celebrated the show of support. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Indian student enrollments in the UK rise for the first time in almost a decade," 12 June 2019 The latest effort to explore the option was put on hold Thursday, when the county commissioners voted to table discussion for 12 months. Brian Compere,, "For Carroll County, charter government is delayed — but is it gone? 6 questions answered," 27 July 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

Dictionary Entries near table






tableau curtain

Table Bay

Statistics for table

Last Updated

11 Sep 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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