[round-tey-buh l]


noting or pertaining to a conference, discussion, or deliberation in which each participant has equal status, equal time to present views, etc.: round-table discussions.

Origin of round-table

First recorded in 1820–30

round table


a number of persons gathered together for conference, discussion of some subject, etc., and often seated at a round table.
the discussion, topic of discussion, or the conference itself.
(initial capital letter) Arthurian Romance.
  1. the table, made round to avoid quarrels as to precedence, about which King Arthur and his knights sat.
  2. King Arthur and his knights.
Also round·ta·ble (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of round table

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for round-table

Contemporary Examples of round-table

  • But yes, I'd like to 'round-table' that, as Ed Meese would say.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ken Starr's Liberal Lovefest

    Tunku Varadarajan

    March 10, 2010

  • In the summer he hosts a round-table talk show on WLIU FM, the National Public Radio affiliate in Southhampton, NY.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Viva Versace

    Steven Gaines

    February 12, 2009

Historical Examples of round-table

  • It was to be a general sacrifice, a round-table of magnanimity.

    From the Easy Chair, vol. 1

    George William Curtis

  • I was thinking of our round-table argument when the proposition was considered.

    The Mercenaries

    Henry Beam Piper

  • For he who can call but one soul on earth his friend is blessed, and sits at the round-table of the gods.

  • They don't believe much in these round-table conferences and European plots.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • We had at Island Park the other day in a round-table conference, a very interesting exercise of that kind.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, March 1883

    The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle

British Dictionary definitions for round-table

round table


  1. a meeting of parties or people on equal terms for discussion
  2. (as modifier)a round-table conference

Round Table

noun the Round Table

(in Arthurian legend) the table of King Arthur, shaped so that his knights could sit around it without any having precedence
Arthur and his knights collectively
one of an organization of clubs of young business and professional men who meet in order to further social and business activities and charitable work
(in New Zealand) an organization of businessmen supporting policies of the New Right
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

Word Origin and History for round-table

also roundtable, 1826 in reference to a gathering of persons in which all are accorded equal status (there being no head of a round table.) King Arthur's Round Table is attested from c.1300, translating Old French table ronde (1155, in Wace's Roman de Brut).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper