AskDefine | Define tab

Dictionary Definition



1 the bill in a restaurant; "he asked the waiter for the check" [syn: check, chit]
2 sensationalist journalism [syn: yellow journalism, tabloid]
3 the key on an electric typewriter that causes a tabulation [syn: tab key]
4 a short strip of material attached to or projecting from something in order to facilitate opening or identifying or handling it; "pull the tab to open the can"; "files with a red tab will be stored separately"; "the collar has a tab with a button hole"
5 a dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet [syn: pill, lozenge, tablet] [also: tabbing, tabbed]

User Contributed Dictionary

see TAB



  • /tæb/
    Rhymes with: -æb

Etymology 1

First attested 1607, of uncertain origin.


  1. A small flap or strip of material attached to something, for holding, manipulation, identification, etc.
  2. A tablet, especially one containing illicit drugs.
  3. In the context of "British Army|slang": A fast march or run with full kit.
  4. A student of Cambridge University, derived from the Latin Cantabrigia (often shortened to Cantab.).
  5. Short for tablature (a way of writing guitar music).
  6. A navigational widget in a GUI for switching between sets of controls or documents.
small flap or strip of material attached to something
  • Italian: linguetta
tablet, especially one containing illicit drugs
fast march or run with full kit
student of Cambridge University
navigational widget in a GUI
  • Czech: karta, záložka
  • German: Registerkarte, Reiter


  1. Mark with a tab.
  2. To use the tab key on a computer or typewriter to navigate the screen or page.
  3. Short for tabulate.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

Apocopation (shortening) of tabulation.


  1. A restaurant bill.
  2. Short for tabulator.
  3. Credit account, e.g., in a shop or bar.
    Put this round on my tab, will you, barman.
restaurant bill
short for tabulator
credit in a shop or bar
  • Finnish: piikki qualifier slang
Derived terms

Etymology 3

Likely to have been formed by clipping the Geordie pronunciation of the word tobacco or alternatively from the brand name Ogden's Tabs.


  1. cigarette.
    Giv'is a tab man!


  • New Geordie Dictionary 1987}}



Extensive Definition

'' In Wikipedia, colons (:) are used to tab.
Tab or tabs may refer to:
  • Tabulation: computing evolved from a mechanical basis using cards gradually between the 1940s and 1990s to a completely electronic basis. The card based systems and components such as sorters and card readers and punches were called "Tab".
  • The tab key, on a computer keyboard, automates indenting text to a preset position. The tab key is commonly used for indentation in word processors and other software.
  • Tab (archery), the small piece of protective covering to protect the fingers when practicing
  • Tab (debating), the table of the results of a debating competition
  • Tab (soft drink), a beverage produced by the Coca-Cola company
  • Tab (album), by Monster Magnet
  • Tabs (stage), in theatre, the term for the curtain at the front of the stage
  • Tablature, a form of musical notation used particularly for guitars and other fretted instruments
  • Tâb, a board game played in Egypt and elsewhere
  • Chicago tab, in organizing, a protruding piece of a planar surface that provides an index mark
  • Tab Ramos, an American soccer player
  • Tab Hunter, an American actor and musician
  • TABS, Thermal Activated Building System.

In software

In publishing

In slang

  • Bill (payment), informally
  • In British English, a colloquialism for cigarette
  • In British Military English, a colloquialism for a forced march
  • In East Midlands English, a slang term for ear
  • "Tabs", abbreviation for "tablets", slang for the drug MDMA, or Ecstasy
  • In British English, a term referring to Cambridge students, used primordially by members of Oxford University


See also

tab in German: TAB
tab in French: Tab
tab in Italian: TAB
tab in Japanese: タブ
tab in Norwegian: Tab
tab in Polish: Tab

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a reckoning of, account, account of, act drop, afterpart, afterpiece, amount, appoint, asbestos, asbestos board, assign, backdrop, batten, bilge, bill, bill of account, bill of lading, blain, bleb, blister, blob, border, boss, bow, brand, bubble, bulb, bulge, bulla, bump, bunch, burl, button, cahot, charge, check, check of, chine, cloth, clump, condyle, convex, cost, coulisse, count of, counterweight, curtain, curtain board, cyclorama, damage, decor, designate, dowel, drop, drop curtain, dun, eagle eye, ear, earmark, expenditure, expense, eye, figure, fire curtain, flag, flange, flap, flat, flipper, gall, gnarl, hallmark, handle, hanging, hill, hump, hunch, invoice, itemized bill, jog, joggle, knob, knot, knur, knurl, label, lappet, lip, loop, lump, manifest, mole, mountain, name, nevus, nominate, nub, nubbin, nubble, ordain, ordinate, papilloma, peg, price, price tag, queue, rag, rate, reckoning, rib, ridge, ring, scene, scenery, score, screen, scrutiny, seal, select, shoulder, side scene, spine, stage screw, stamp, statement, sticker, strap, stud, style, surveillance, tableau, tabs of, tag, tail, tailpiece, tally of, tariff, teaser, ticket, tormentor, track of, trail, trailer, train, transformation, transformation scene, tubercle, tubercule, verruca, vesicle, wake, wale, wart, watch, welt, wing, wingcut, woodcut
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