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

Chairs and tables gave the street a café-like atmosphere. Robert Higgs,, "Cafe chairs, tables return to popular popup street park on Market Avenue in Ohio City," 9 Aug. 2019 Lazy Oaks Beer Garden also features several big-screen TVs, a shuffleboard table and a shaded backyard with cornhole. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Houston restaurants that recently opened in your neighborhood, August 2019," 9 Aug. 2019 On a recent Thursday in Santa Clarita, a group of Uighurs gathered around a backyard table and swapped stories of their families and memories of their motherland. Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, "‘They want to erase us.’ California Uighurs fear for family members in China," 9 Aug. 2019 With no European football this season, the Hammers will be keen on making a push up the table and finish somewhere in the top eight., "West Ham 2019/20 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man and Predictions," 9 Aug. 2019 Lots of turquoise and yellow tables and chairs and a view of cars and the day passing by on Governors Drive. Matt Wake |, al, "Come for the beer gimmick, stay for the tasty tacos," 9 Aug. 2019 The tomes sit on bookshelves that go from floor to ceiling, some scattered on tables and chairs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Environmental warrior Duncan McFetridge’s path leads to Buddha," 8 Aug. 2019 The Central Perk set will (of course) come with the iconic sofa as well as the chairs and table but also a pair of studio light rigs with translucent light-style elements. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Friends' Getting Lego Treatment," 8 Aug. 2019 Bidders sat at tables and chairs holding up large white signs to signal their desire to pay top dollar for fine-looking steers, pigs and sheep. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gov. Tony Evers sells his first livestock at State Fair auction," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Last Wednesday, the House voted to table the latest impeachment resolution from Representative Al Green (his third), but ninety-five Democrats voted to keep it on the floor. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s Idea of Selective Citizenship," 21 July 2019 The arrest took place two days after Evanston aldermen tabled an effort to censure Reid following allegations made by city employees that Reid harassed or retaliated against them. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "During meeting at Evanston police station, city clerk arrested on traffic warrant," 18 July 2019 The House voted 332 to 95 to table the measure, with Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. NBC News, "After House rejects 'stupid' impeachment, Trump fuels rally crowd chant of 'send her back!' at Omar," 18 July 2019 But in both cases, Republicans controlled the chamber and voted overwhelmingly to table his resolutions. New York Times, "House Votes to Kill Trump Impeachment Resolution," 17 July 2019 Green has sought to bring articles of impeachment for a vote on the floor twice before but both times lawmakers, including Democrats, voted to table the measure. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "'Unfit to be president': House to consider articles of impeachment against Trump," 23 May 2019 Which is presumably one reason the yellow vests have persisted, long after the government tabled the fuel tax. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: France’s carbon tax was a disaster, but there might be a less politically fraught way," 23 June 2019 But as the Nazi war machine ramped up, the project was tabled as the factory intended for car production was converted to make military vehicles instead. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Volkswagen Beetle Says Auf Wiedersehen," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

14 Aug 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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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