Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Half a dozen of Percival's friends sat at the table with them from time to time.

All is prepared—the table and the feast— With due appurtenance of clothes and cushions.

Blowing out the candle, he advanced to the table and set it down.

She stood by the table, the light from a shaded lamp making her colour glow.

Almost every Barbarian at the table had made his own fortune.

She arose, and would have gone around the table to him, but he met her with open arms.

He led her, unresisting, around to the couch at the other side of the table.

"Another cup of coffee, Mrs. Davis," he said, passing his cup across the table.

One-half of the pink roses were on the table, and one from the other half was in her hair.

He was seated at a table with a variety of papers spread out before him.


late 12c., "board, slab, plate," from Old French table "board, plank, writing table, picture" (11c.), and late Old English tabele, from West Germanic *tabal (cf. Old High German zabel, German Tafel), both the French and Germanic words from Latin tabula "a board, plank, table," originally "small flat slab or piece" usually for inscriptions or for games, of uncertain origin, related to Umbrian tafle "on the board."

The sense of "piece of furniture with the flat top and legs" first recorded c.1300 (the usual Latin word for this was mensa (see mensa); Old English writers used bord (see board (n.1)). The meaning "arrangement of numbers or other figures for convenience" is recorded from late 14c. (e.g. table of contents, mid-15c.).

Figurative phrase turn the tables (1630s) is from backgammon (in Old and Middle English the game was called tables). Table talk is attested from 1560s, translating Latin colloquia mensalis. To table-hop is first recorded 1956. The adjectival phrase under-the-table "hidden from view" is recorded from 1949; under the table "passed out from excess drinking" is recorded from 1921. Table tennis is recorded from 1887.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.