[ tab-luh-cher, -choo r ]
/ ˈtæb lə tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər /


Music. any of various systems of music notation using letters, numbers, or other signs to indicate the strings, frets, keys, etc., to be played.
a tabular space, surface, or structure.


Nearby words

  1. tabid,
  2. tabinet,
  3. tabitha,
  4. tabla,
  5. tablas,
  6. table,
  7. table bay,
  8. table board,
  9. table corn,
  10. table cut

Origin of tablature

1565–75; < Middle French, Latinization (influenced by Latin tabula board) of Italian intavolatura, derivative of intavolare to put on a board, score Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tablature

  • As Walther sings Sachs takes it down in tablature, calling out to him what sections are next required.

    Richard Wagner|John F. Runciman
  • The first time he asked admittance to show you the tablature, and you did not want to receive him, I persuaded you to do so.

  • Robinson gives instructions for learning to play the cittern and for reading the tablature.

  • This set of thoughts is like the tablature prescribed to the singing animal above mentioned.

    Theodicy|G. W. Leibniz

British Dictionary definitions for tablature


/ (ˈtæblətʃə) /


music any of a number of forms of musical notation, esp for playing the lute, consisting of letters and signs indicating rhythm and fingering
an engraved or painted tablet or other flat surface

Word Origin for tablature

C16: from French, ultimately from Latin tabulātum wooden floor, from tabula a plank

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 tablature



type of musical notation for lute or stringed instrument, 1570s, from French tablature (1550s), from Latin tabula "table" (see table (n.)); influenced by Italian tavolatura, from tavolare "to board, plank, enclose with boards."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for tablature


[ tăblə-chur′, -chər ]


An engraved tablet or surface.
The cranial bones considered as two laminae separated by the diploe.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.