General English

General Science


  • noun a list of figures or facts set out in columns
  • verb to put items of information on the table before a meeting


  • noun a list of data in columns and rows on a printed page or on the screen
  • noun a structure which shows how records and data items are linked by relations between the rows and columns of the table


  • An arrangement of words, numbers, symbols, or the like, in rows and columns, or in another manner which assists in locating information. For example, a periodic table.
  • Data that is arranged in rows and columns, or in another manner in which each contained item is uniquely identified, thus assisting in locating the contained information. Examples include the data stored in relational databases, that contained in spreadsheets, or in a file allocation table.


  • noun the long table in the centre of the House of Commons between the two front benches. The Serjeant at Arms places the mace on the table when the business of the house begins. The two despatch boxes which the main speakers from either party talk across are also on the table.
  • verb to put written information on the table before or during a meeting, making them available to everyone at the meeting


  • noun a piece of furniture in a restaurant where guests sit to eat

Origin & History of “table”

Latin tabula originally denoted a ‘board’ or ‘plank’, and hence a ‘slab for writing on’ and a ‘list or similar arrangement of words or figures written on such a slab’ (as in a ‘table of contents’). It was in the farther outposts of the Roman empire that the sense ‘piece of furniture for serving meals on’ emerged – possibly in Frankish, where it would have been a direct translation of the term used for ‘table’, which meant literally ‘serving board’ (until tables with legs found their way northward from Greece and Rome, food had been served on individual trays or boards). In much of the empire it became established as the word for ‘table’ (and it passed into English via Old French table), although in Spanish the original Latin term mensa survived as mesa. Derivatives in English include entablature (17th c.), tableau (17th c.) (originally a French diminutive form), tablet, tabloid, and tabular (17th c.).