- a small flap, strap, loop, or similar appendage, as on a garment, used for pulling, hanging, or decoration.
- a tag or label.
- a small projection from a card, paper, or folder, used as an aid in filing.
- Informal. a bill, as for a meal in a restaurant; check.
- a small piece attached or intended to be attached, as to an automobile license plate.
- a small flap or tongue of material used to seal or close the opening of a container.
- Also called tabulator, tab key. a key on a typewriter that moves the carriage, typing element, etc., a predetermined number of spaces, used for typing text in columns, for fixed indentations, etc.
- Also called tab key. a key on a computer keyboard that moves the cursor a predetermined number of spaces, used for keying text in columns or form fields, for fixed indentations, etc.
- Digital Technology.
- (in a web browser window or in a spreadsheet or other application) a page displayed by clicking on or selecting a user interface element that resembles a paper tab:The third tab in the spreadsheet list expenses.
- the display of this user interface element:I have too many tabs open in my browser right now.
- a small, often narrow, drop curtain, for masking part of the stage.
- tableau curtain.
- Aeronautics. a small airfoil hinged to the rear portion of a control surface, as to an elevator, aileron, or rudder.Compare trim tab.
- to furnish or ornament with a tab or tabs.
- to name or designate.
- to operate the tab function on a typewriter or computer.
- keep tabs/tab on, Informal. to keep an account of; check on; observe: The police kept tabs on the suspect's activities.
Origin of tab1
- tabloid(def 1).
- Slang. a tablet, as of a drug or medication.
Origin of tab2
Examples from the Web for tabs
He was taking twenty 80mg tabs of Oxy a day!Did he have any sober periods?'Celebrity Rehab' Counselor: Mindy McCready Won't Be the Last
February 26, 2013
She too has taken quite a blistering in the media—this after spending months on the run from the tabs.What You Can Learn From John Edwards and Rielle Hunter
June 27, 2012
Obama took particular pleasure in sending his tabs to [government minister] Tom Mboya himself or to [politician] Mwai Kibaki.The Tragic Life of Barack Obama’s Father
Sally H. Jacobs
July 10, 2011
The committee has not forced the issue, a decision one member has ascribed to fear of the Murdoch tabs.Murdoch Lieutenant Under Fire
March 11, 2011
And From the Department of British Tabloids The World Cup is pretty much over, as far as the tabs are concerned.World Cup Primer
June 12, 2010
Jim tipped liberally, because his firm was what is known as "easy on the tabs."Mixed Faces
There was a friend of yores in a while ago who seemed to be sort of keepin' tabs on him.Rimrock Trail
J. Allan Dunn
They unhooked four of the six tabs from the wall and donned them.The Judas Valley
Even though I disappoint you ever so badly, you must know so, dear Tabs.
It was the best part of five years since Tabs had driven a car.
- a small flap of material, esp one on a garment for decoration or for fastening to a button
- any similar flap, such as a piece of paper attached to a file for identification
- a small auxiliary aerofoil on the trailing edge of a rudder, aileron, or elevator, etc, to assist in the control of the aircraft in flightSee also trim tab
- British military the insignia on the collar of a staff officer
- mainly US and Canadian a bill, esp one for a meal or drinks
- Scot and Northern English dialect a cigarette
- keep tabs on informal to keep a watchful eye on
- (tr) to supply (files, clothing, etc) with a tab or tabs
- typhoid-paratyphoid A and B (vaccine)
- Australian and NZ Totalizator Agency Board
Word Origin and History for tabs
"small flap," c.1600, possibly a dialectal word, of uncertain origin. Often interchangeable with tag (n.1). Cf. also Middle English tab "strap or string" (mid-15c.), Norwegian dialectal tave "piece of cloth, rag."
"account, bill, check," 1888, American English colloquial, probably a shortened form of tabulation or of tablet in the sense of "a sheet for writing on." Figurative phrase keep a tab on is recorded from 1890.
"to designate, label," 1924, perhaps an alteration of tag (v.2). Related: Tabbed; tabbing.
Idioms and Phrases with tabs
see keep tabs on.