- 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
- (in prescriptions) tablet.
Origin of tab.
Examples from the Web for tab
That victory for the tab became a bargaining chip in all future dealings with the superstar.I Warned You About Bill Cosby in 2007
November 20, 2014
Runaway corporations benefited from those policies but want U.S. companies to pay their share of the tab.The Democrats Have Found a New Boogeyman, and It’s Burger King
August 26, 2014
They started the tab; as a country, we have simply, and certainly, continued it.Life, Liberty, and the Founding Fathers’ Pursuit of Hoppiness
July 4, 2014
Critics run that tab as high as $4 billion, calculating the lost tax revenues over 40 years.Are Athletes Using Your Tax Dollars to Juice?
May 2, 2014
And, as usual, the mega-billionaire is expected to pick up the tab.Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Courts Jeb in Sin City
John L. Smith
March 27, 2014
They searched about here, there, and everywhere, but not so much as the tab of a lace could be found.A harum-scarum schoolgirl
His territories were occupied by the Moslems, whose dominions were thereby extended from the Kuran to the Tab river.
The tab is not, therefore, to be recommended for the use of beginners.The Theory and Practice of Archery
I jest drawed the tab back coldly, and never dained a reply.Sweet Cicely
Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
"Now you pay that tab, or I don't get no percentage," said the girl.The Great Gold Rush
W. H. P. (William Henry Pope) Jarvis
- 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
- table (list or chart)
Word Origin and History for tab
"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 tab
see keep tabs on.