Definition of slab in US English:



  • 1A large, thick, flat piece of stone, concrete, or wood, typically rectangular.

    ‘paving slabs’
    ‘she settled on a slab of rock’
    • ‘The heavy slabs laid to cover drains along the tracks hinder cleaning and have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.’
    • ‘Concrete paving slabs, available from the big DIY chains, can look almost as good as the real thing.’
    • ‘He pushed it and the next sound heard was of two marble slabs being rubbed together.’
    • ‘Rev stood in a dark stone room with a large rectangular slab of metal hanging close to the ground.’
    • ‘A concrete slab on grade or floor is going to crack.’
    • ‘On the ground he will place a granite slab recording the building's history.’
    • ‘Hot and cold running water leads to a newly enameled green tub set on a thick stone slab.’
    • ‘The weight of the chair back is equivalent to two paving slabs.’
    • ‘I saw her face, cold as stone and heavy as a marble slab.’
    • ‘Water flows through radiant tubes in floor slabs for both heating and cooling.’
    • ‘It has been carved from a massive slab of marble.’
    • ‘The panels form 5-inch-wide concrete joists integral with the floor slab.’
    • ‘Many of the stone paving slabs are 200 years old and too expensive for Leeds City Council to replace.’
    • ‘At the Tileco warehouse they have all these precut granite slabs held together with heavy straps.’
    • ‘The walled back garden is laid in concrete paving slabs with flowerbeds in the border.’
    • ‘Stone slabs were removed and the footpaths were cemented.’
    • ‘The court heard that Mr Baker was injured when marble slabs fell on him.’
    • ‘Massive concrete floor slabs provide thermal storage, collecting heat and giving it off again later on.’
    • ‘There he tipped the lot onto a cement slab and stepped back smartly.’
    flagstone, flag, sett
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A large, thick slice or piece of cake, bread, chocolate, etc.
      ‘a slab of bread and cheese’
      • ‘My lunch consisted of bread and cheese, two small slabs of beef and two apples and water, all of which I shared with Khalon.’
      • ‘There were also dense slabs of chocolate fondant, and an apple croustade with a light, frilly crust that melted to butter in your mouth.’
      • ‘My brother went for the burger option, an impressively thick slab of meat accompanied by chunky, tasty chips.’
      • ‘We enjoyed it with a slab of delicious chocolate cake.’
      • ‘The female lead had the sizzle and smolder of a cold slab of butter, too.’
      • ‘Slabs of beef like that wouldn't even get us publicity.’
      • ‘Huge slabs of raw meat were roasting slowly within the scorching flames.’
      • ‘There is something utterly indulgent, delicious and satisfying about a slab of chocolate cake.’
      • ‘Between killings Uzi wolfed down enormous slabs of apple pie and chocolate mousse cake.’
      • ‘The accompanying mushrooms and salad were the perfect complement to the huge slab of meat.’
      • ‘She placed the cake on the table and watched the heat rise from the dark slab of deliciousness.’
      • ‘Stuff it into a red bell pepper instead of sandwiching it between two slabs of Wonder bread.’
      • ‘The frittata roll is also divine: a squidgy herby omelette sitting between two slabs of bread or in a roll is the stuff of dreams.’
      • ‘Between slabs of bread the crispness was tolerable.’
      • ‘Perhaps - unlike you - she declined that great big slab of delicious chocolate cake.’
      • ‘The well-used copper utensils, heavy slab of salmon and a lemon almost suspended at the table edge each play their own unostentatious part in this scene.’
      • ‘A tender, gently cooked slab of pork is lightly crusted in nuts and herbs.’
      • ‘The mussels bathe in a chilli and wine concoction, perfect for dipping the slabs of brown bread that accompany the meals.’
      piece, block, hunk, chunk, lump
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Climbing A large, smooth, steep body of rock.
      • ‘I quickly hauled myself up and hiked to a bolted belay on the higher slab.’
      • ‘A small lip guarded the final corner, which lead to a very smooth slab.’
      • ‘Great marble slabs clawed their way out of the earth, gigantic and marvellous, revelling in their beauty.’
      • ‘Start at the lowest rocks and climb the slabs above until stopped by a smooth bulge.’
      • ‘Jake climbed up onto the slab of rock again and sat there with his legs crossed, staring down at me.’
    3. 1.3 An outer piece of timber sawn from a log.
      • ‘On their shoulders, they tote a 100-pound slab of wood.’
      • ‘James bobbed up first, treading water and grasping for a sizable slab of lumber.’
      • ‘She swung the large slab of mahogany open to rest her eyes upon Marcus.’
      • ‘There was raw chicken on a driftwood slab for this farewell meal too.’
      • ‘Plastic bags and clothes lay beside the washing slabs, seemingly abandoned.’
      • ‘Vermont researcher Bernd Heinrich once watched a wild raven trying to carve out a piece of the action from a huge slab of suet.’
      • ‘She couldn't see through them, because they had been boarded up on one side with a massive slab of mahogany.’
      • ‘The doors yawned open in front of them, the heavy, wooden slabs teasing her with memories of the hell that lay inside.’
      • ‘Now we were before the great hall itself, and I looked up at timber walls made of slabs of oak four times my height.’
      • ‘On slabs with waterproof finishes, problems start to develop when the relative humidity climbs above 87%.’
      • ‘This is where we met them, crawling out of timber slab houses.’
      • ‘He threw the last slab of wood on Mr. Garvey's buggy.’
      • ‘The entrance doors are huge wooden slabs, engraved in sign language by Durban craftspeople, depicting the 27 themes of the Bill of Rights.’
      • ‘A sound much like knocking on a slab of wood reached my ears.’
    4. 1.4 A table used for laying a body on in a morgue.
      • ‘Many bones then languish in climate-controlled storage, on steel slabs like mortuaries, waiting once again.’
      • ‘She begins to experiment, creating casts of mortuary slabs as well as mundane household objects.’
      • ‘We know who is going to be in the back of the ambulance, or indeed on the slab in our mortuaries.’
      • ‘Some churches are as warm and inviting as a mortuary slab.’
      • ‘Whiteread cast them from two mortuary slabs which she had bought from a salvage yard in Hackney.’
      • ‘He approached the body lying on the slab in the middle of the room and pulled back the sheet.’
      • ‘He turns on the light and walks to the body of the old man laying on the slab.’
      • ‘Slowly, holding her breath, feeling her stomach turn with bleak expectations, she walked across the room to the operating slab.’
      • ‘Looking up into the powerful overhead lights and feeling the cold slab under me, I knew I had it coming.’
      • ‘All lines of analysis run through, from, and back to the body on a slab.’
      • ‘The great doors swung open, and there upon an embalming slab lay her battered body.’


[with object]often as noun slabbing
  • Remove slabs from (a log or tree) to prepare it for sawing into planks.

    • ‘The company has developed and supplies a unique slabbing system.’


Middle English: of unknown origin.