Definition of tablet in US English:



  • 1A flat slab of stone, clay, or wood, used especially for an inscription.

    ‘at the corner of the apse is a memorial tablet’
    • ‘They are found carved in rock, ceramics, clay tablets, mosaics, manuscripts, stone patterns, turf, hedges, and cathedral pavements.’
    • ‘Any significant ancient ruler required a personal seal for signing clay tablets and other inscriptions.’
    • ‘The names of foreign enemies and Egyptian traitors were inscribed on clay pots, tablets, or figurines of bound prisoners.’
    • ‘Many of these Han burials were readily identifiable by inscribed stone stelae, tablets recording the name, titles, and dates of the deceased.’
    • ‘The tablet's inscription tells the story of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.’
    • ‘The clay cuneiform tablets, only inches tall, record business from about 2000 B.C.’
    • ‘A votive tablet found in Plovdiv and now housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia depicts one such occurrence.’
    • ‘This story of Moses' summons to go to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone would have been a familiar text to temple leaders and other practicing Jews of Jesus' day.’
    • ‘Our signs carved in stone, inscribed on clay tablets, painted on walls, papyrus or on pieces of leather, could be transported to different places and people.’
    • ‘An old walled kitchen garden to the east has become the setting for stone tablets inscribed by letter cutters.’
    • ‘Thousands of cuneiform tablets and ancient Christian, Muslim and Jewish manuscripts are gone.’
    • ‘The oldest extant writing surfaces include Babylonian clay tablets and Indian palm leaves.’
    • ‘We have an inscription on a stone tablet which contains a date which translates to 876.’
    • ‘As if memories were not enough, two stone tablets with inscriptions and a copper plate were unearthed from inside the church.’
    • ‘Representations of votive tablets on pillars, however, also occur on a number of regular votive reliefs.’
    • ‘Moses is clutching under his right arm what must be the twin tablets of stone upon which he inscribed the Ten Commandments.’
    • ‘This cult of sacrifice is eulogised in a number of inscriptions on tablets called the hero-stones found in this part of the country and these glorify the warrior clans and their valor.’
    • ‘Among them is a single display of Babylonian cuneiform tablets that accounts for nine missing items.’
    • ‘From beneath mounds of sand and debris, Babylon and Nineveh were exposed to view together with whole libraries of clay cuneiform tablets.’
    slab, panel, plaque, plate, sign
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    1. 1.1Architecture
      another term for table (sense 3 of the noun)
  • 2British A small disk or cylinder of a compressed solid substance, typically a measured amount of a medicine or drug; a pill.

    ‘headache tablets’
    ‘ecstasy tablets’
    • ‘It is important to ask about over the counter medicines such as cold tablets and sleep aids, which patients and families may forget to mention.’
    • ‘Each tablet of the drug was administered with 300 ml of water.’
    • ‘You will usually be given pain relief such as paracetamol or codeine tablets to help ease your discomfort.’
    • ‘Another technique that can be used with a tablet of medicine that is too bitter to chew is to crush it and mix it with strawberry jam or applesauce, she adds.’
    • ‘I would like you to think about a drug, a tablet, which can prevent heart attacks.’
    • ‘I'm hoping the combination of sleeping pill and codeine tablets will kick in for her shortly to give her some relief and both of us some rest.’
    • ‘You can also take antihistamine tablets containing drugs such as cyclizine or cinnarizine to prevent travel or motion sickness.’
    • ‘Antihistamine drugs are available as tablets, creams, and injections.’
    • ‘Even a quarter of an aspirin tablet, taken in regular doses, can be enough to prevent attacks.’
    • ‘Codeine tablets and morphine oral solution are available.’
    • ‘Combination chemotherapy can be used, usually as a combination of intravenous drugs and tablets.’
    • ‘If you are taking the extended-release tablet form of this medicine, swallow the tablets whole.’
    • ‘Inflammation can be reduced with ibuprofen tablets and paracetamol can help to relieve any pain.’
    • ‘Taking just one ecstasy tablet could cause long-lasting brain damage leading to depression, scientists have warned.’
    • ‘You may be given antibiotic tablets or capsules in addition to a topical treatment.’
    • ‘Many chest physicians advise patients who are taking steroids to swallow their tablets in the morning because morning dosing is thought to minimise adrenal suppression.’
    • ‘Fifteen people described how they deliberately and routinely adjusted the amount of tablets they took.’
    • ‘Drugs such as aspirin, cold tablets and vitamins are best taken with water.’
    • ‘Severe attacks of asthma are sometimes treated with a course of steroid tablets, such as prednisolone.’
    • ‘An amount of ecstasy tablets were also seized in this raid.’
    pill, capsule, lozenge, caplet, pastille, pellet, drop, ball
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    1. 2.1 A small bar of soap.
      • ‘Before the ‘boys’ came along everything at the factory was done by hand - including cutting the soap into bars or tablets.’
      bar, cake, slab, brick, block, chunk, piece
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  • 3A small portable computer that accepts input directly on to its screen rather than via a keyboard or mouse.

  • 4North American A writing pad.

    • ‘Pulling his writing tablet from his harness pouch, Alan retrieved the pen he'd placed in the side of his war collar.’
    • ‘Legal pad enthusiasts do seem to have a psychological connection to their writing tablets.’
    • ‘And speaking of notes, an anonymous hand-scrawled poem mysteriously appeared on a communal writing tablet in the bathroom that night.’
    • ‘It consisted of a video of a little girl's hand clasping a pencil and writing on a tablet.’
    • ‘She is sitting at her window with her writing tablet, the full moon providing substantial light.’
    • ‘In her arms was a writing tablet and a pencil, looking like they were about to fly out of her hands at any moment.’
    notebook, notepad, writing pad, memo pad, jotter, block, sketch pad, sketchbook
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Middle English: from Old French tablete, from a diminutive of Latin tabula (see table).