- a picture, as of a scene.
- a picturesque grouping of persons or objects; a striking scene.
- a representation of a picture, statue, scene, etc., by one or more persons suitably costumed and posed.
- Solitaire. the portion of a layout to which one may add cards according to suit or denomination.
Origin of tableau
Examples from the Web for tableau
A first-rank boulevardier in the 1960s tableau, his wives included one Rita Hayworth.Inside North America’s First Islamic Art Museum
September 16, 2014
Now those are destroyed, too, and the animals are strewn about, bloating and stinking, as if in a tableau of “Guernica.”Inside the Gaza Schoolyard Massacre
July 26, 2014
The tableau of five candidates on stage at first seemed more like a set of high school stereotypes than a political debate.Iowa GOP Senate Debate Shows Divides
April 25, 2014
Everybody else was screaming; the noise was overwhelming, the tableau so terrifying that my brain locked up.Don’t Shoot! Why Being a Hero Is Not That Easy
March 12, 2013
It contributed to the tableau of grievances inherited by every refugee.Old Problems and New Realities
November 22, 2012
Power behind the throne, what a tableau: Sumner and Lincoln!Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
We all stood stock-still for a minute, like folks in a tableau.Cape Cod Stories
Joseph C. Lincoln
Has existence only to unroll a tableau, every detail of which is graven on my heart?Gerald Fitzgerald
Charles James Lever
Think of a tableau with Swift, Addison, &c, at Templeton's leve!
Alice cannot forget her part in that Bombay tableau or in those lake promptings.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
Word Origin and History for tableau
1690s, "a picturesque or graphic description or picture," from French tableau "picture, painting," from Old French table "slab, writing tablet" (see table (n.)) + diminutive suffix -eau, from Latin -ellus. Hence tableau-vivant (1817) "person or persons silent and motionless, enacting a well-known scene, incident, painting, etc.," popular 19c. parlor game, literally "living picture."