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[key-buh l] /ˈkeɪ bəl/
a heavy, strong rope.
a very strong rope made of strands of metal wire, as used to support cable cars or suspension bridges.
a cord of metal wire used to operate or pull a mechanism.
  1. a thick hawser made of rope, strands of metal wire, or chain.
  2. cable's length.
Electricity. an insulated electrical conductor, often in strands, or a combination of electrical conductors insulated from one another.
Architecture. one of a number of reedings set into the flutes of a column or pilaster.
verb (used with object), cabled, cabling.
to send (a message) by cable.
to send a cablegram to.
to fasten with a cable.
to furnish with a cable.
to join (cities, parts of a country, etc.) by means of a cable television network:
The state will be completely cabled in a few years.
verb (used without object), cabled, cabling.
to send a message by cable.
1175-1225; Middle English, probably < Old North French *cable < Late Latin capulum lasso; compare Latin capulāre to rope, halter (cattle), akin to capere to take
Related forms
cablelike, adjective
recable, verb, recabled, recabling.
uncabled, adjective


[key-buh l] /ˈkeɪ bəl/
George Washington, 1844–1925, U.S. novelist and short-story writer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cable
  • After graduating, he became a draftsman and advertising designer with a cable company.
  • Unusually large and heavy books are sometimes bound with wire or cable.
  • A wireless microphone is one in which the artist is not limited by a cable.
  • After five days the cable parted, perhaps as a result of rubbing on the bottom.
  • Automatically through a long cable but it was never adopted.
  • They are locally available on charter communications digital cable tier.
  • A circular needle resembles two short knitting needles connected by a cable between them.
  • Press claims they were the first cable hosts to discuss the planned attack.
  • Power transmission from offshore turbines is through undersea cable.
  • This not only made additional channels possible but also prepaid cable service.
British Dictionary definitions for cable


a strong thick rope, usually of twisted hemp or steel wire
(nautical) an anchor chain or rope
  1. a unit of distance in navigation, equal to one tenth of a sea mile (about 600 feet)
  2. Also called cable length, cable's length. a unit of length in nautical use that has various values, including 100 fathoms (600 feet)
a wire or bundle of wires that conducts electricity: a submarine cable See also coaxial cable
Also called overseas telegram, international telegram, cablegram. a telegram sent abroad by submarine cable, radio, communications satellite, or by telephone line
short for cable television
to send (a message) to (someone) by cable
(transitive) to fasten or provide with a cable or cables
(transitive) to supply (a place) with or link (a place) to cable television
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norman French, from Late Latin capulum halter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cable

c.1200, from Old North French cable, from Medieval Latin capulum "lasso, rope, halter for cattle," from Latin capere "to take, seize" (see capable). Technically, in nautical use, a rope 10 or more inches around; in non-nautical use, a rope of wire (not hemp or fiber). Given a new range of senses in 19c.: Meaning "message received by telegraphic cable" is from 1883 (short for cable message). Cable car is from 1879. Cable television first attested 1963; shortened form cable is from 1972.


c.1500, "to tie up with cables;" 1871, American English, "to transmit by cable;" from cable (n.). Related: Cabled; cabling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cable

in electrical and electronic systems, a conductor or group of conductors for transmitting electric power or telecommunication signals from one place to another. Electric communication cables transmit voice messages, computer data, and visual images via electrical signals to telephones, wired radios, computers, teleprinters, facsimile machines, and televisions. There is no clear distinction between an electric wire and an electric cable. Usually the former refers to a single, solid metallic conductor, with or without insulation, while the latter refers to a stranded conductor or to an assembly of insulated conductors. With fibre-optic cables, made of flexible fibres of glass and plastic, electrical signals are converted to light pulses for the transmission of audio, video, and computer data

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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