tab

1
[ tab ]
/ tæb /

noun

verb (used with object), tabbed, tab·bing.

to furnish or ornament with a tab or tabs.
to name or designate.

verb (used without object), tabbed, tab·bing.

to operate the tab function on a typewriter or computer.

Idioms

    keep tabs/tab on, Informal. to keep an account of; check on; observe: The police kept tabs on the suspect's activities.

Origin of tab

1
1600–10; most senses of unknown origin;in def 7 short for tabulator; in def 10 short for tableau; in defs 4, 15 short for table
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for keep tabs on (1 of 3)

tab

1
/ (tæb) /

noun

verb tabs, tabbing or tabbed

(tr) to supply (files, clothing, etc) with a tab or tabs

Word Origin for tab

C17: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for keep tabs on (2 of 3)

tab

2
/ (tæb) /

noun

short for tabulator, tablet
slang a portion of a drug, esp LSD or ecstasy

British Dictionary definitions for keep tabs on (3 of 3)

TAB


abbreviation for

typhoid-paratyphoid A and B (vaccine)
Australian and NZ Totalizator Agency Board
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with keep tabs on (1 of 2)

keep tabs on


Observe carefully, keep a record of. For example, I hate having my boss keep tabs on my every move, or We've got to keep tabs on outgoing mail so we can keep track of postage. This expression uses to tab in the sense of “an account.” [Late 1800s] Also see keep track.

Idioms and Phrases with keep tabs on (2 of 2)

tab


see keep tabs on.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.