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round table

noun
1.
a number of persons gathered together for conference, discussion of some subject, etc., and often seated at a round table.
2.
the discussion, topic of discussion, or the conference itself.
3.
(initial capital letter) Arthurian Romance.
  1. the table, made round to avoid quarrels as to precedence, about which King Arthur and his knights sat.
  2. King Arthur and his knights.
Also, roundtable (for defs 1, 2).
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English

round-table

[round-tey-buh l] /ˈraʊndˌteɪ bəl/
adjective
1.
noting or pertaining to a conference, discussion, or deliberation in which each participant has equal status, equal time to present views, etc.:
round-table discussions.
Origin
1820-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for round-table

round table

noun
1.
  1. a meeting of parties or people on equal terms for discussion
  2. (as modifier): a round-table conference

Round Table

noun the Round Table
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
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 round-table
n.

also roundtable, 1826 in reference to a gathering of persons in which all are accorded equal status (there being no head of a round table.) King Arthur's Round Table is attested from c.1300, translating Old French table ronde (1155, in Wace's Roman de Brut).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for round-table

Round Table

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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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