from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A carnivorous mammal (Martes zibellina) of northern Europe and Asia, having soft dark fur.
  • n. The pelt or fur of this animal.
  • n. The similar fur of other species of martens.
  • n. The color black, especially in heraldry.
  • n. Black garments worn in mourning.
  • n. A grayish yellowish brown.
  • n. A sablefish.
  • adj. Of a grayish yellowish brown.
  • adj. Of the color black, as in heraldry or mourning.
  • adj. Dark; somber.
  • adj. Of the fur of the sable: a sable coat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small carnivorous mammal of the Old World that resembles a weasel, Mustela zibellina, from cold regions in Eurasia and the North Pacific islands, valued for its dark brown fur (Wikipedia).
  • n. The marten, especially Mustela americana.
  • n. The fur or pelt of the sable or other species of martens; a coat made from this fur.
  • n. An artist's brush made from the fur of the sable (Wikipedia).
  • n. : A black colour on a coat of arms.
  • n. A black colour, resembling the fur of some sables.
  • n. Black garments worn in mourning.
  • adj. Of the black colour sable.
  • adj. : In blazon, of the colour black.
  • adj. Made of sable fur.
  • adj. Dark, somber.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of the color of the sable's fur; dark; black; -- used chiefly in poetry.
  • n. A carnivorous animal of the Weasel family (Mustela zibellina) native of the northern latitudes of Europe, Asia, and America, -- noted for its fine, soft, and valuable fur.
  • n. The fur of the sable.
  • n. A mourning garment; a funeral robe; -- generally in the plural.
  • n. The tincture black; -- represented by vertical and horizontal lines crossing each other.
  • transitive v. To render sable or dark; to drape darkly or in black.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A digitigrade carnivorous quadruped, Mustela zibellina, of the family Mustelidæ and subfamily Mustelinæ, closely related to the martens.
  • n. The dressed pelt or fur of the sable.
  • n. The color black in a general sense, and especially as the color of mourning: so called with reference to the general dark color of the fur of the sable as compared with other furs, or from its being dyed black as sealskin is dyed.
  • n. A black cloth or covering of any kind; mourning-garments in general; a suit of black: often in the plural.
  • n. A fine paint-brush or pencil made of hair from the tail of the sable.
  • n. In heraldry, black; one of the tinctures, represented when the colors are not given, as in engraving, by a close network of vertical and horizontal lines. Abbreviated S., sa. See also cut under pall.
  • n. A British collectors' name of certain pyralid moths. Botys nigrata is the wavy-barred sable, and B, lingulata is the silver-barred sable.
  • Made of sable: as, a sable muff or tippet.
  • Of the color of a sable; dark-brown; blackish.
  • Black, especially as applied to mourning, or as an attribute.
  • To make like sable in color; darken; blacken; hence, figuratively, to make sad or dismal; sadden.
  • n. A Spanish name of the cutlas-fish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the expensive dark brown fur of the marten
  • n. marten of northern Asian forests having luxuriant dark brown fur
  • n. a very dark black
  • n. an artist's brush made of sable hairs
  • n. a scarf (or trimming) made of sable
  • adj. of a dark somewhat brownish black


Middle English, from Old French, from Middle Low German sabel, from Old Russian sobol', ultimately from Persian samōr.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
C.1275, Middle English; from Old French sable and martre sable ("sable martin"), in reference to the animal or its fur; from Middle Low German sabel (compare Middle Dutch sabel, Middle High German zobel); ultimately from an Old Slavonic or Baltic word (compare Russian соболь (sóbol'), Polish soból, Czech sobol). Compare also Persian samōr. (Wiktionary)


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