|a. a meeting of parties or people on equal terms for discussion|
|b. (as modifier): a round-table conference|
|1.||(in Arthurian legend) the table of King Arthur, shaped so that his knights could sit around it without any having precedence|
|2.||Arthur and his knights collectively|
|3.||one of an organization of clubs of young business and professional men who meet in order to further social and business activities and charitable work|
|4.||(in New Zealand) an organization of businessmen supporting policies of the New Right|
in Arthurian legend, the table of Arthur, Britain's legendary king, which was first mentioned in Wace of Jersey's Roman de Brut (1155). This told of King Arthur's having a round table made so that none of his barons, when seated at it, could claim precedence over the others. The literary importance of the Round Table, especially in romances of the 13th century and afterward, lies in the fact that it served to provide the knights of Arthur's court with a name and a collective personality. The fellowship of the Round Table, in fact, became comparable to, and in many respects the prototype of, the many great orders of chivalry that were founded in Europe during the later Middle Ages. By the late 15th century, when Sir Thomas Malory wrote his Le Morte Darthur, the notion of chivalry was inseparable from that of a great military brotherhood established in the household of some great prince
Learn more about Round Table with a free trial on Britannica.com.