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

  • n. An article of furniture supported by one or more vertical legs and having a flat horizontal surface.
  • n. The objects laid out for a meal on this article of furniture.
  • n. The food and drink served at meals; fare: kept an excellent table.
  • n. The company of people assembled around a table, as for a meal.
  • n. Games A piece of furniture serving as a playing surface, as for faro, roulette, or dice. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Games Either of the leaves of a backgammon board.
  • n. Obsolete Games The game of backgammon.
  • n. A plateau or tableland.
  • n. A flat facet cut across the top of a precious stone.
  • n. A stone or gem cut in this fashion.
  • n. Music The front part of the body of a stringed instrument.
  • n. Music The sounding board of a harp.
  • n. Architecture A raised or sunken rectangular panel on a wall.
  • n. Architecture A raised horizontal surface or continuous band on an exterior wall; a stringcourse.
  • n. A part of the human palm framed by four lines, analyzed in palmistry.
  • n. An orderly arrangement of data, especially one in which the data are arranged in columns and rows in an essentially rectangular form.
  • n. An abbreviated list, as of contents; a synopsis.
  • n. An engraved slab or tablet bearing an inscription or a device.
  • n. Anatomy The inner or outer flat layer of bones of the skull separated by the diploe.
  • n. A system of laws or decrees; a code: the tables of Moses.
  • transitive v. To put or place on a table.
  • transitive v. To postpone consideration of (a piece of legislation, for example); shelve.
  • transitive v. To enter in a list or table; tabulate.
  • idiom on the table Up for discussion: Her new offer is on the table.
  • idiom on the table Put aside for consideration at a later date.
  • idiom under the table In secret.
  • idiom under the table Into a completely intoxicated state: drank themselves under the table.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An item of furniture with a flat top surface raised above the ground, usually on one or more legs.
  • n. A flat tray which can be used as a table.
  • n. A matrix or grid of data arranged in rows and columns.
  • n. A collection of arithmetic calculations arranged in a table, such as multiplications in a multiplication table.
  • n. A lookup table, most often a set of vectors.
  • n. The top of a stringed instrument, particularly a member of the violin family: the side of the instrument against which the strings vibrate.
  • n. One half of a backgammon board, which is divided into the inner and outer table.
  • n. A visual representation of a classification of teams or individuals based on their success over a predetermined period.
  • n. The lineup of players at a given table.
  • v. To put on a table.
  • v. To propose for discussion (from to put on the table)
  • v. To hold back to a later time; to postpone.
  • v. To tabulate; to put into a table.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A smooth, flat surface, like the side of a board; a thin, flat, smooth piece of anything; a slab.
  • n. A thin, flat piece of wood, stone, metal, or other material, on which anything is cut, traced, written, or painted; a tablet.
  • n. Any smooth, flat surface upon which an inscription, a drawing, or the like, may be produced.
  • n. Hence, in a great variety of applications: A condensed statement which may be comprehended by the eye in a single view; a methodical or systematic synopsis; the presentation of many items or particulars in one group; a scheme; a schedule.
  • n. A view of the contents of a work; a statement of the principal topics discussed; an index; a syllabus; a synopsis.
  • n. A list of substances and their properties; especially, the a list of the elementary substances with their atomic weights, densities, symbols, etc.
  • n. Any collection and arrangement in a condensed form of many particulars or values, for ready reference, as of weights, measures, currency, specific gravities, etc.; also, a series of numbers following some law, and expressing particular values corresponding to certain other numbers on which they depend, and by means of which they are taken out for use in computations
  • n. The arrangement or disposition of the lines which appear on the inside of the hand.
  • n. An article of furniture, consisting of a flat slab, board, or the like, having a smooth surface, fixed horizontally on legs, and used for a great variety of purposes, as in eating, writing, or working.
  • n. Hence, food placed on a table to be partaken of; fare; entertainment.
  • n. The company assembled round a table.
  • n. One of the two, external and internal, layers of compact bone, separated by diploë, in the walls of the cranium.
  • n. A stringcourse which includes an offset; esp., a band of stone, or the like, set where an offset is required, so as to make it decorative. See Water table.
  • n.
  • n. The board on the opposite sides of which backgammon and draughts are played.
  • n. One of the divisions of a backgammon board.
  • n. The games of backgammon and of draughts.
  • n. A circular plate of crown glass.
  • n. The upper flat surface of a diamond or other precious stone, the sides of which are cut in angles.
  • n. A plane surface, supposed to be transparent and perpendicular to the horizon; -- called also perspective plane.
  • n. The part of a machine tool on which the work rests and is fastened.
  • intransitive v. To live at the table of another; to board; to eat.
  • transitive v. To form into a table or catalogue; to tabulate.
  • transitive v. To delineate, as on a table; to represent, as in a picture.
  • transitive v. To supply with food; to feed.
  • transitive v. To insert, as one piece of timber into another, by alternate scores or projections from the middle, to prevent slipping; to scarf.
  • transitive v. To lay or place on a table, as money.
  • transitive v. In parliamentary usage, to lay on the table; to postpone, by a formal vote, the consideration of (a bill, motion, or the like) till called for, or indefinitely.
  • transitive v. To enter upon the docket.
  • transitive v. To make board hems in the skirts and bottoms of (sails) in order to strengthen them in the part attached to the boltrope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A flat or flattish and relatively thin piece of wood, stone, metal, or other hard substance; a board; a plate; a slab.
  • n. Specifically— A slab, plate, or panel of some solid material with one surface (rarely both surfaces) smooth or polished for some purpose, used either separately or as part of a structural combination. This sense is now chiefly obsolete, except in some historical or special cases: as, the tables of the law; the table (mensa) of an altar. A board or panel on which a picture was painted was formerly called a table, and also a board on which a game, as draughts or checkers, was played; the two leaves of a backgammon-board are called tables—the outer and inner (or home) tables. See def. 7 .
  • n. A votive tablet.
  • n. In anatomy, one of the two laminæ (outer and inner) of any of the cranial bones, separated from each other, except in the thinnest parts, by the spongy or cellular diploe. They are composed of compact bony tissue; the inner table is close-grained, shiny, and brittle (whence it is called the vitrcous table). Also called tablet. See tablature, 5.
  • n. In glass-making: One of the disks or circular plates into which crown-glass is formed from the molten metal by blowing, rolling, and flashing. The plates are usually about four and a half feet in diameter, though sometimes much larger.
  • n. The flat plate with a raised rim on which plate-glass is formed.
  • n. In mech., that part of a machine-tool on which work is placed to be operated upon. It is adjustable in height, is free to move laterally or otherwise, and is perforated with slots for the clamps which secure the article to be treated. Also called carriage and platen.
  • n. In weaving, the board or bar in a draw-loom to which the tails of the harness are attached.
  • n. An article of furniture consisting of a flat top (the table proper), of wood, stone, or other solid material, resting on legs or on a pillar, with or without connecting framework; in specific use, a piece of furniture with a flat top on which meals are served, articles of use or ornament are placed, or some occupation is carried on: as, a dining-table, writing-table, work-table, kitchen-table; a billiard-table a tailors' cutting-table; a surgeons' operating-table.
  • n. Used absolutely, the board at or round which persons sit at meals; a table for refection or entertainment: as, to set the table (to place the cloth and dishes on it for a meal); to sit long at table.
  • n. Figuratively— That which is placed upon a table for refreshment; provision of food at meals; refection; fare; also, entertainment at table.
  • n. A company at table, as at a dinner; a group of persons gathered round a table, as for whist or other games.
  • n. In a limited use, a body of persons sitting, or regarded as sitting, round a table in some official capacity; an official board.
  • n. A thin plate or sheet of wood, ivory, or other material for writing on; a tablet; in the plural, a memorandum-book.
  • n. A flat or plane surface like that of a table; a level area; a plateau.
  • n. Specifically— A level plot of ground; a garden-bed, or the like.
  • n. In perspective, same as perspective plane. See perspective, n.
  • n. In architecture: A flat surface forming a distinct feature in a wall, generally rectangular and charged with some ornamental design or figure. When it projects beyond the general surface of the wall, it is termed a raised or projecting table; when it is not perpendicular to the horizon, it is called a raking table; and when the surface is rough, frosted, or vermiculated, it is called a rusticated table.
  • n. A horizontal molding on the exterior or interior face of a wall, placed at various levels, which crowns basements, separates the stories of a building, or its upper parts; a string-course.
  • n. In palmistry, the inner surface of the hand; especially, the space within certain lines of the palm, considered in relation to indications of character or fortune.
  • n. In diamond-cutting: A stone (usually a cleavage-piece) that is polished flat on both sides, is either square, oblong, triangular, round, or oval in form, and has a border of one or more rows of square or triangular facets.
  • n. The large flat facet on the top of a brilliant-cut stone. See brilliant (with cut).
  • n. Something inscribed, depicted, or performed on a table, or arranged on a tabular surface or in tabular form: as, the two tables of the law (the decalogue).
  • n. plural The game of backgammon. See def. 1 .
  • n. Hence An arrangement of written words, numbers, or signs, or of combinations of them, in a series of separate lines or columns; a formation of details in relation to any subject arranged in horizontal, perpendicular, or some other definite order, in such manner that the several particulars are distinctly exhibited to the eye, each by itself: as, chronological tables; astronomical tables; tables of weights or measures; the multiplication table; insurance tables.
  • n. A synoptical statement or series of statements; a concise presentation of the details of a subject; a list of items or particulars.
  • n. A doctrine or tenet, especially one regarded as of divine origin or authority.
  • n. Milit., in some shells, as the shrapnel, the contracted part of the eye next the interior, as distinct from the larger part next the exterior.
  • n. Eccles., same as frontal, 5 .
  • n. A body of knights fabled to have been brought together by King Arthur Pendragon to defend Christian England and Wales against the heathen Saxony. This legendary order of Knights of the Round Table was imitated in later times by associations of participants in justs or tournaments.
  • n. The first stone at the side of a gable, serving as an abutment for the coping. Also called summer-stone and skew-corbel.
  • n. By metonymy, the Lord's Supper, or communion, itself.
  • Pertaining to or provided for a table: as, table requisites.
  • Shaped like a table.
  • To form into a list or catalogue; tabulate; catalogue.
  • To make a table or picture of; delineate; depict.
  • To entertain at table; board.
  • To lay upon a table; pay down.
  • To lay on the table, in the parliamentary sense; lay aside for future consideration or till called up again: as, to table a resolution.
  • In carpentry, to fix or set, as one piece of timber into another, by alternate seams and projections on each, to prevent the pieces from drawing apart or slipping upon one another.
  • Nautical, to strengthen, as a sail, by making broad hems on the head-leeches and the foot, for the attachment of the bolt-rope.
  • To eat or live at the table of another; board.
  • To play the game of tables.

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

  • n. a piece of furniture with tableware for a meal laid out on it
  • n. a set of data arranged in rows and columns
  • v. hold back to a later time
  • n. flat tableland with steep edges
  • n. food or meals in general
  • v. arrange or enter in tabular form
  • n. a piece of furniture having a smooth flat top that is usually supported by one or more vertical legs
  • n. a company of people assembled at a table for a meal or game


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin tabula, board.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English table, tabel, tabil, tabul, from Old English tabele, tabul, tablu, tabule, tabula, ("table, board"; also as tæfl, tæfel), from *tabla, *tabula (“table, board”), an early Germanic borrowing of Latin tabula ("tablet, board, plank, chart"). Reinforced in Middle English by Old French table, from the same Latin source.


  • The trouble with the peace table is that the Allies want it _à la carte_, and Wilson wants it American plan -- _table d'hôte_.

    More Toasts

  • DAN _sits on the left of the table, where "East Lynne" is open on the table_.

    Night Must Fall : a Play in Three Acts

  • DELIA (_at table and leaning across, with hands on table_).


  • And to think that I actually sat on that table -- no, that seat (_he points to the settee_ R., _then he moves up stage between it and the table_) -- that I sat there with him this morning, and never guessed!


  • (_Crossing up to smoking - table up_ R., _and filling his pipe which he finds on table_.)

    Mr. Pim Passes By

  • HELEN O'NEILL _seated above table; _ MISS EASTWOOD _seated below console table_ R. _end of chesterfield; _ ROSALIE _seated_ C. _chesterfield; _

    The Thirteenth Chair

  • Jerome and other Fathers called the communion bread -- _little body_, and the communion table -- _mystical table_; the latter, in allusion to the heathen and early Christian mysteries, and the former, in reference to the children sacrificed at the Agapae.

    The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History

  • It would not be pleasant, certainly, to sit for an hour at a big empty table, ordering dishes fit only for epicures, and then, just as the waiters bore down with the Little Neck clams, so nicely iced and so cool and bitter-looking, to have to rise and go out into the street to a _table d'hôte_ around the corner.

    Van Bibber and Others

  • Each table in our room had a superb _surtout de table_ in silver, and silver drinking-cups worthy of a museum.

    The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912

  • Pierre at first failed to distinguish anything, but, when he was installed at the little table -- a garden-table which had been brought indoors for the occasion, and on which there was scarcely room for two covers -- he felt quite upset, almost sick, in fact, at the sight presented by the _table d'hote_, which his glance now enfiladed from end to end.

    The Three Cities Trilogy: Lourdes, Complete


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  • He/she knows his/her tables - said of a child who can instantly and reliably give the answer to, usually, simple multiplication processes, eg, 9 x 6 = 54, or 7 x 8 = 56. The multiplication table needs to be learned by rote, usually by the aid of chanting.

    May 21, 2012

  • "The large flat facet on the top of a brilliant-cut stone. See brilliant (with cut)." --CD&C

    May 21, 2012

  • "Let's table it" is to "put it on the back burner". Table is an autoantonym: table an offer (present it) v. table, withdraw.

    May 1, 2010