1. a number of sheets of writing paper, business forms, etc., fastened together at the edge; pad.
  2. a flat slab or surface, especially one bearing or intended to bear an inscription, carving, or the like.
  3. a thin, flat leaf or sheet of slate, wax-coated wood, or other rigid material, used for writing or marking on, especially one of a pair or set hinged or otherwise fastened together.
  4. tablets, the set as a whole.
  5. a small, flat, or flattish cake or piece of some solid or solidified substance, as a drug, chemical, or soap.
  6. Also called tablet computer. a very thin, portable computer, usually battery-powered, having a touchscreen as the primary interface and input device and lacking a physical keyboard and lid.Compare laptop.
verb (used with object), tab·let·ed or tab·let·ted, tab·let·ing or tab·let·ting.
  1. to furnish or mark with a tablet or plaque.
  2. to mark or inscribe (memoranda, notes, etc.) on a tablet.
  3. to form into tablets, cakes, pellets, etc.

Origin of tablet

1275–1325; Middle English tablette < Middle French tablete. See table, -et

Synonyms for tablet

2. plaque. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for tablet computer


  1. a medicinal formulation made of a compressed powdered substance containing an active drug and excipients
  2. a flattish cake of some substance, such as soap
  3. Scot a sweet made of butter, sugar, and condensed milk, usually shaped in a flat oblong block
  4. a slab of stone, wood, etc, esp one formerly used for inscriptions
    1. a thinner rigid sheet, as of bark, ivory, etc, used for similar purposes
    2. (often plural)a set or pair of these fastened together, as in a book
  5. a pad of writing paper
  6. NZ a token giving right of way to the driver of a train on a single line section
  7. computing an input device that allows the user to draw or write freehand to screen by means of stylus or digital pen

Word Origin for tablet

C14: from Old French tablete a little table, from Latin tabula a board
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 tablet computer



early 14c., "slab or flat surface for an inscription" (especially the two Mosaic tables of stone), from Old French tablete (13c.), diminutive of table "slab" (see table (n.)). The meaning "lozenge, pill" is first recorded 1580s; that of "pad of writing paper" in 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tablet computer in Medicine


  1. A small flat pellet of medication to be taken orally.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.