- a thick hawser made of rope, strands of metal wire, or chain.
- cable's length.
verb (used with object), ca·bled, ca·bling.
verb (used without object), ca·bled, ca·bling.
Origin of cable
- a unit of distance in navigation, equal to one tenth of a sea mile (about 600 feet)
- Also called: cable length, cable's lengtha unit of length in nautical use that has various values, including 100 fathoms (600 feet)
Word Origin for cable
c.1500, "to tie up with cables;" 1871, American English, "to transmit by cable;" from cable (n.). Related: Cabled; cabling.
c.1200, from Old North French cable, from Medieval Latin capulum "lasso, rope, halter for cattle," from Latin capere "to take, seize" (see capable). Technically, in nautical use, a rope 10 or more inches around; in non-nautical use, a rope of wire (not hemp or fiber). Given a new range of senses in 19c.: Meaning "message received by telegraphic cable" is from 1883 (short for cable message). Cable car is from 1879. Cable television first attested 1963; shortened form cable is from 1972.