A table can also mean a collection of data, perhaps involving some sort of array. For example, a hash table.

This word may have some linguistic connection to the word tableau.

Table v. (British) To propose for discussion, as in during a meeting. (To table a plan of action)

I recently learned this one in a meeting with a fellow (British) during a meeting...which he pointed out was QUITE different from our (read my, i.e. American Business English, if such a term may be coined) meeting usage...see number 6 above...ehr or below. Every time I load this I have to change this page for the new position it's in.

The table is where wooden trusses are assembled. A table is usually about three feet high, 50 to 70 feet long, and a good 20 to 30 feet wide. The table will always be made of wood. This allows the securing of lumber (i.e. top and bottom chords) to the table with 12 penny nails. There is a long metal beam affixed to the table with strong bolts. This is the "camber bar".

It is often necessary to have at least one worker on the table. If the truss is very long, or very tall, it can be impossible to construct entirely from the ground, and hopping up and down from the table can become tiring and very tedious.

There will be another table, its length parallel to the other, with a walkway of about three feet in between tables. This table is used for backplating the truss. When the front side of the truss is entirely assembled, the truss is flipped by the workers onto the other table. The backplating table will usually have cylindrical metal rollers on it, allowing a worker to easily push the completed truss across the table to the press, where the plates are securely fastened.

In the most extreme cases (biggest trusses), I've seen three men on the ground and three men on the table, and still not be able to flip the truss. In cases like these, we would take a seventh person, tie a rope to the peak of the truss, throw the rope over the rafters in the roof, and across to the other table, where the seventh would pull on it to raise the peak and help flip the truss.

The table should be swept clean after every set of trusses is built. It is important to make sure that there are no pieces of wood near the camber bar, as this can make it difficult to properly center the truss. Also, it is common for workers to drop truss nails onto the table. These should be picked up always. A nail on the table can be a safety hazard. It's also wasteful to leave nails lying around.

If workers are building several of the same truss, the additional chords are kept on the table so that the table man can access them easily when constructing the frame of the truss. Webs and kingposts are kept under the table and are handed up to the table man after the frame has been built.

After a long time of usage, tables will become flaky. Splinters of wood will come loose from the table, it will be full of holes from constant nailing, and the wood in the table will deteriorate due to weather. Therefore, it is important to repair or replace the plywood on the surface of the table around once a year. A newly repaired table is much easier to work on than an old table, and the trusses come out better too.

Ta"ble (?), n. [F., fr. L. tabula a board, tablet, a painting. Cf. Tabular, Taffrail, Tavern.]


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.


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.


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.

St. Antony has a table that hangs up to him from a poor peasant.


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.


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.

The nymph the table spread.


Hence, food placed on a table to be partaken of; fare; entertainment; as, to set a good table.


The company assembled round a table.

I drink the general joy of the whole table.

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)


The board on the opposite sides of which backgammon and draughts are played.


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.

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.

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.

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 servants. --
Table cover, a cloth for covering a table, especially at other than mealtimes. --
Table diamond, a thin diamond cut with a flat upper surface. --
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 housekeeping. Burrill. --
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 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. --
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.


© Webster 1913

Ta"ble (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tableed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tableing (?).]


To form into a table or catalogue; to tabulate; as, to table fines.


To delineate, as on a table; to represent, as in a picture. [Obs.]

Tabled and pictured in the chambers of meditation.


To supply with food; to feed. [Obs.] Milton.

4. (Carp.)

To insert, as one piece of timber into another, by alternate scores or projections from the middle, to prevent slipping; to scarf.


To lay or place on a table, as money. Carlyle.


In parliamentary usage, to lay on the table; to postpone, by a formal vote, the consideration of (a bill, motion, or the like) till called for, or indefinitely.


To enter upon the docket; as, to table charges against some one.

8. (Naut.)

To make board hems in the skirts and bottoms of (sails) in order to strengthen them in the part attached to the boltrope.


© Webster 1913

Ta"ble, v. i.

To live at the table of another; to board; to eat. [Obs.] "He . . . was driven from the society of men to table with the beasts." South.


© Webster 1913

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