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

Noun 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. Verb 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 In one incident, as diners got up to leave their table behind, someone tipped it over. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Protests over the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, get violent," 5 Sep. 2020 Use it as the sauce for baked chicken or enchiladas, or just keep a cup and a bag of chips next to your desk/kitchen table for whenever the late afternoon hunger pangs arrive. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Staff picks: 8 condiments we swear by and how to use them," 4 Sep. 2020 In the coming months, Buffalo Wings & Rings plans to add a digital platform allowing diners to call their server with the push of a button and to check out from their table. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Miami Twp. lands new model Wings & Rings restaurant with digital and off-premises amenities," 3 Sep. 2020 Next to her dining room table, there's a life-size Jack Skeleton and Zero, Jack's ghost dog. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "This Seattle Home Features a Different Disney Movie Theme in Every Room," 3 Sep. 2020 David Tait, who lives in Laceys Creek in Queensland state, came home to find a large chunk of his ceiling had collapsed onto his kitchen table. Fox News, "Australian man finds 2 huge pythons in home after they crash through kitchen ceiling," 2 Sep. 2020 After losing her job in the auto industry, the extra $600 in weekly federal unemployment aid helped Celestine Sanders keep up with rent and bills and put food on her table. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "Group rallies for housing rights, extra $600 in weekly aid during COVID-19 pandemic," 1 Sep. 2020 For the most part, customers have been understanding of the masks requirements, including the new provision that went into effect last week requiring patrons to wear face coverings when a server/waiter is at their table. Rafael Guerrero,, "Elgin-area bars and restaurants adjust to life in a pandemic: ’It’s a new world, a new ride’," 29 Aug. 2020 Your Thanksgiving table isn't complete without this festive serving dish. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Bed Bath & Beyond Has the Coziest Fall Home Decor Right Now," 28 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Accordingly, policy moderates would have plenty of excuses to table Joe Biden’s big tax increases and costly new regulations. Kevin A. Hassett, National Review, "Biden May Lose the Moderates," 1 Sep. 2020 Republican council members Todd Crandell and David Marks, along with Democratic Council Chair Cathy Bevins, also voted to table the bill due to concerns with last-minute amendments that weren’t reviewed by the public. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "Baltimore County councilman seeks limits on ‘no-knock’ warrants in latest push for police reform," 28 Aug. 2020 Daniel Ellis of Crafton Tull asked the community environment and welfare committee, which oversees planning, to table the rezoning request and give his client more time to work with the city to revise the plan. Alex Golden, Arkansas Online, "Rogers council denies rezoning for apartments," 26 Aug. 2020 For his part, Rep. Harry Burn had voted twice to table the measure. USA Today, "View more than 100 photos of Tennessee’s role in the women’s suffrage movement," 19 Aug. 2020 But anti-suffragists had delivered racist and sexist speeches against the 19th Amendment, and earlier that day Tennessee House members had voted twice to table the ratification decision. Katie Mettler, Star Tribune, "How a mother's letter changed U.S. history," 14 Aug. 2020 But Republicans killed the resolution, voting to table it before it could be voted on or debated. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Bob Cupp selected as next Ohio House speaker," 30 July 2020 Several council members agreed, so council voted to table the resolution. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Orange council passes anti-racism resolution; proposed amendment dropped," 9 July 2020 Those expectations were quashed in mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the board to table the issue to a future election. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Candidate filing period nears; 4 Woodlands board seats up for election," 7 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Presented and mixed table side, the salad is a collection of simple ingredients that, when methodically combined, become spectacular. Justin Phillips,, "How Burma Superstar’s quiet founder created a Burmese food empire," 6 Mar. 2020 Use a mix of sources — floor lamps, table lamps, sconces and overheads. New York Times, "Tired of Winter? Here’s How to Make Your Home a Haven," 7 Feb. 2020 There’s a mix of table lamps, task lights, wall lights, and standing floor lamps on offer with shapes that range from tall mushrooms to something reminiscent of the Bat Signal. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "These Sleek Lamps Illuminate the Promise of 3D Printing," 26 Feb. 2020 The space also was updated to include more table seating and brighter decor. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "After 2 years, this popular south Tempe restaurant is closed. Here's what we know," 17 Jan. 2020 Pull your naval in towards your spine and bring your knees up to a table top position. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "Reformer Pilates: What it is, who it's best for and how to do some moves without the reformer," 10 Jan. 2020 Create balanced, even lighting with floor and table lamps throughout the room, in addition to a large ceiling fixture for overhead light. Washington Post, "Out with the dated ‘disaster room,’ in with a comfortable and inviting family room," 2 Jan. 2020 Maybe a cause for some of the table time-limit violations? Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "7 Surprising Facts About L.A.’s First Cannabis Café," 1 Oct. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for table

Time Traveler

The first known use of table was before the 12th century

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Statistics for table

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Table.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for table


How to pronounce table (audio)

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)

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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Comments on table

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