tableau

[ ta-bloh, tab-loh ]
/ tæˈbloʊ, ˈtæb loʊ /

noun, plural tab·leaux [ta-blohz, tab-lohz] /tæˈbloʊz, ˈtæb loʊz/, tab·leaus.

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.

Nearby words

  1. table wine,
  2. table-d'hote,
  3. table-hop,
  4. table-rapping,
  5. table-turning,
  6. tableau curtain,
  7. tableau vivant,
  8. tablecloth,
  9. tableful,
  10. tableland

Origin of tableau

1690–1700; < French: board, picture, Middle French tablel, diminutive of table table

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tableau


British Dictionary definitions for tableau

tableau

/ (ˈtæbləʊ) /

noun plural -leaux (-ləʊ, -ləʊz) or -leaus

a pause during or at the end of a scene on stage when all the performers briefly freeze in position
any dramatic group or scene
logic short for semantic tableau

Word Origin for tableau

C17: from French, from Old French tablel a picture, diminutive of table

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 tableau

tableau

n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper