Meaning of TAB in English


I. ˈtab, -aa(ə)b noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: origin unknown


a. : a short flap, loop, or other device projecting from an object to facilitate its identification or grasping: as

(1) : the piece of leather to which a saddle girth is secured

(2) dialect England : the tip of a shoelace

(3) : a small hand grip

swung the musette around front and pulled open the tabs on it — R.O.Bowen

specifically : pull strap

(4) : a small lettered guide affixed to the bottom of the notch of a thumb index or projecting from the edge of a page

(5) : a projection from a card used as an aid in filing

(6) : a margin on a stamp or sheet of stamps bearing an ornamentation or a descriptive or advertising inscription


(1) : the collar insignia of a British army officer

(2) Britain : staff officer


(1) dialect chiefly England : a shoe latchet

(2) : a small strap or flap fastening (as for a coat) stitched to a garment at one end and buttoned at the loose end

(3) : a projecting metal strip or a key fitting into a slot (as for securing a roller to its mandrel)

d. : a small insert, addition, or remnant

license plate tab

shoe … reinforced at the toe and heel by metal tabs — William Duber

e. dialect England : dab

boys, as they followed the path above, could toss tabs of turf down her chimney — A.T.Quiller-Couch

f. : appendage , extension : as

(1) : a small pendant or projecting part of a garment

tabs … are favorite trimmings, used at necklines — Women's Wear Daily

especially : one of a series of pendants forming a decorative border or edge

(2) or tab·leau ˈtaˌblō,  ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷

[ tableau from tableau (I) ]

: a narrow framed or unframed drop used especially for masking offstage spaces

(3) : tag 3d(1)

g. : a piece of leather with two finger holes and a slot for the arrow shaft worn by an archer to protect the drawing fingers

h. : a small auxiliary airfoil hinged to a control surface (as to the trailing edge of an aileron, rudder, or elevator) to help stabilize an airplane in flight — called also trim tab


[partly short for table (I) ; partly from sense 1]

a. : an itemized account or close surveillance : tally , watch

keep close tabs on both American and British publications — Bennett Cerf

difficult to keep a tab on the nefarious activities of these people — R.G.Menzies

a color styling service … keeps tabs on mass-market trends in color — Dun's Review

b. : a creditor's statement : bill , check

few merchants could afford to throw out all their fixtures and foot the tab for a … new floor setup — E.B.Weiss

big spending, which includes … picking up the tab , as well as big tipping — John Bainbridge

c. : an incurred expense or market value : cost , price

45 cents a pound, the tab at which the industry … hope butter will move quickly onto dinner tables — Wall Street Journal

the tab for superhighways may run as high as 3 million dollars a mile — Changing Times


[by shortening]

a. : tabloid

farm tabs that sometimes go out with larger dailies — Lois M. Miller

tab show, specializing in brief revues — R.L.Taylor

b. : tabulator

for typing tables, first set tabs to space the columns evenly

run data cards through a tab

c. : tablet

two boxes of heat tabs — Paul Gallico

II. transitive verb

( tabbed ; tabbed ; tabbing ; tabs )

1. : to furnish or ornament with tabs

when these cards are removed from the active list, they are tabbed according to group — American Business

cuffed neckline is looped and tabbed at the side — Fashion Digest

2. : to single out : name , designate , identify

the $14 million tabbed … for aid to school districts — Fortnight

listeners have her tabbed as a chanteuse of the whispering school — Los Angeles (Calif.) Times

someone once tabbed me the critic's critic — Ralph de Toledano


[by shortening]

: tabulate

tabbing up ballots — Time

tab all lines except the first … and double-space — H.H.Smith & A.C.Lloyd

III. abbreviation


[New Latin tabella ]


2. table

3. tabulate; tabulated

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.