[tab-luh-cher, -choo r]


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.

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

Related Words for tablature

songbook, score

Examples from the Web for tablature

Historical Examples of tablature

  • 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.

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

    Richard Wagner

    John F. Runciman

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


    G. W. Leibniz

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

British Dictionary definitions for tablature



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

tablature in Medicine


[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.