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. 1.
"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 plain." Spenser.
"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, a list of the elementary substances with their atomic weights, densities, symbols, etc.
(c) (Mach.) 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, 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 diploë, in the walls of the cranium.
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.
10. (Games) (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.] Chaucer.
"This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice." -- Shak.
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 plane.
14. (Mach.) The part of a machine tool on which the work rests and is fastened.
etc. See under Bench, Card, etc.
(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.
(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.
See Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.
a small anvil to be fastened to a table for use in making slight repairs.
(Arch.) Same as Water table.
a bed in the form of a table.
beer for table, or for common use; small beer.
a small bell to be used at table for calling servants.
a cloth for covering a table, especially at other than mealtimes.
a thin diamond cut with a flat upper surface.
linen tablecloth, napkins, and the like.
(Mil. or Naut.), an allowance sometimes made to officers over and above their pay, for table expenses.
(O. Eng. Law), rent paid to a bishop or religious, reserved or appropriated to his table or housekeeping. Burrill.
(Naut.), a low, level shore.
conversation at table, or at meals.
one who talks at table.
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
(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.
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.
(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.