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. 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. 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 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.
(Science: machinery) 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. 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)
13. (Science: machinery) 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 Bench, Card, etc. Raised table, 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.
Origin: F, fr. L. Tabula a board, tablet, a painting. Cf. Tabular, Taffrail, Tavern.