The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Table \Ta"ble\ (t[=a]"'l), n. [F., fr. L. tabula a board,
tablet, a painting. Cf. Tabular, Taffrail, Tavern.]
1. A smooth, flat surface, like the side of a board; a thin,
flat, smooth piece of anything; a slab.
A bagnio paved with fair tables of marble. --Sandys.
2. A thin, flat piece of wood, stone, metal, or other
material, on which anything is cut, traced, written, or
painted; a tablet; pl. a memorandum book. "The names . . .
written on his tables." --Chaucer.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of
stone like unto the first, and I will write upon
these tables the words that were in the first
tables, which thou brakest. --Ex. xxxiv.
And stand there with your tables to glean
The golden sentences. --Beau. & Fl.
3. Any smooth, flat surface upon which an inscription, a
drawing, or the like, may be produced. "Painted in a table
The opposite walls are painted by Rubens, which,
with that other of the Infanta taking leave of Don
Philip, is a most incomparable table. --Evelyn.
St. Antony has a table that hangs up to him from a
poor peasant. --Addison.
4. 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. Specifically:
(a) (Bibliog.) A view of the contents of a work; a
statement of the principal topics discussed; an index;
a syllabus; a synopsis; as, a table of contents.
(b) (Chem.) A list of substances and their properties;
especially, the a list of the elementary substances
with their atomic weights, densities, symbols, etc.;
the periodic table of the elements.
(c) (Mathematics, Science and Technology) 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; as,
tables of logarithms, sines, tangents, squares, cubes,
etc.; annuity tables; interest tables; astronomical
tables; a table of logarithms, etc.
(d) (Palmistry) The arrangement or disposition of the
lines which appear on the inside of the hand.
Mistress of a fairer table
Hath not history for fable. --B. Jonson.
5. 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.
We may again
Give to our tables meat. --Shak.
The nymph the table spread. --Pope.
6. Hence, food placed on a table to be partaken of; fare;
entertainment; as, to set a good table.
7. The company assembled round a table.
I drink the general joy of the whole table. --Shak.
8. (Anat.) One of the two, external and internal, layers of
compact bone, separated by diploe, in the walls of the
9. (Arch.) 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.
(a) The board on the opposite sides of which backgammon
and draughts are played.
(b) One of the divisions of a backgammon board; as, to
play into the right-hand table.
(c) pl. The games of backgammon and of draughts. [Obs.]
This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice.
11. (Glass Manuf.) A circular plate of crown glass.
A circular plate or table of about five feet
diameter weighs on an average nine pounds. --Ure.
12. (Jewelry) The upper flat surface of a diamond or other
precious stone, the sides of which are cut in angles.
13. (Persp.) A plane surface, supposed to be transparent and
perpendicular to the horizon; -- called also perspective
14. (Mach.) The part of a machine tool on which the work
rests and is fastened.
Bench table, Card table, Communion table, Lord's
table, etc. See under Bench, Card, etc.
Raised table (Arch. & Sculp.), a raised or projecting
member of a flat surface, large in proportion to the
projection, and usually rectangular, -- especially
intended to receive an inscription or the like.
Roller table (Horology), a flat disk on the arbor of the
balance of a watch, holding the jewel which rolls in and
out of the fork at the end of the lever of the escapement.
Round table. See Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.
Table anvil, a small anvil to be fastened to a table for
use in making slight repairs.
Table base. (Arch.) Same as Water table.
Table bed, a bed in the form of a table.
Table beer, beer for table, or for common use; small beer.
Table bell, a small bell to be used at table for calling
Table cover, a cloth for covering a table, especially at
other than mealtimes.
Table diamond, a thin diamond cut with a flat upper
Table linen, linen tablecloth, napkins, and the like.
Table money (Mil. or Naut.), an allowance sometimes made to
officers over and above their pay, for table expenses.
Table rent (O. Eng. Law), rent paid to a bishop or
religious, reserved or appropriated to his table or
Table shore (Naut.), a low, level shore.
Table talk, conversation at table, or at meals.
Table talker, one who talks at table.
Table tipping, Table turning, certain movements of
tables, etc., attributed by some to the agency of departed
spirits, and by others to the development of latent vital
or spriritual forces, but more commonly ascribed to the
muscular force of persons in connection with the objects
moved, or to physical force applied otherwise.
Tables of a girder or Tables of a chord (Engin.), the
upper and lower horizontal members.
To lay on the table, in parliamentary usage, to lay, as a
report, motion, etc., on the table of the presiding
officer, -- that is, to postpone the consideration of, by
a vote; -- also called to table . It is a tactic often
used with the intention of postponing consideration of a
motion indefinitely, that is, to kill the motion.
To serve tables (Script.), to provide for the poor, or to
distribute provisions for their wants. --Acts vi. 2.
To turn the tables, to change the condition or fortune of
contending parties; -- a metaphorical expression taken
from the vicissitudes of fortune in gaming.
Twelve tables (Rom. Antiq.), a celebrated body of Roman
laws, framed by decemvirs appointed 450 years before
Christ, on the return of deputies or commissioners who had
been sent to Greece to examine into foreign laws and
institutions. They consisted partly of laws transcribed
from the institutions of other nations, partly of such as
were altered and accommodated to the manners of the
Romans, partly of new provisions, and mainly, perhaps, of
laws and usages under their ancient kings. --Burrill.