Definitions

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

  • n. An engraved tablet or surface.
  • n. Music A system of notation using letters, symbols, or other visual cues instead of standard notation to indicate how a musical piece is to be played. For example, guitar or banjo tablature typically consists of a diagram of the strings with finger positions indicated by numerals corresponding to the appropriate frets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of musical notation indicating fingering rather than the pitch of notes, commonly used for stringed instruments
  • n. An engraved tablet etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A painting on a wall or ceiling; a single piece comprehended in one view, and formed according to one design; hence, a picture in general.
  • n. An ancient mode of indicating musical sounds by letters and other signs instead of by notes.
  • n. Division into plates or tables with intervening spaces.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tabular space or surface; any surface that may be used as a tablet.
  • n. A tabular representation; specifically, a painting or design executed as a tablet on a distinct part of an extended surface, as a wall or ceiling.
  • n. Exhibition as in a table or catalogue; an exemplification or specification; a specimen.
  • n. In music: The system of rules for the poetry of the mastersingers.
  • n. Musical notation in general.
  • n. A form of musical notation for various instruments, like the lute, the viol, the flute, the oboe, or the organ, used in Europe from the fifteenth to the beginning of the eighteenth century.
  • n. In anatomy, the separation of cranial bones into an inner and an outer hard table or plate, with intervening diploic or cancellated structure.

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

  • n. a musical notation indicating the fingering to be used

Etymologies

French, alteration (influenced by Latin tabula, table) of Italian intavolatura, from intavolare, to put on a board : Latin in-, in- + tavola, table, board (from Latin tabula).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French, from Italian tavolare 'set to music'. (Wiktionary)

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