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[tab-luh-cher, -choo r] /ˈtæb lə tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər/
Music. any of various systems of music notation using letters, numbers, or other signs to indicate the strings, frets, keys, etc., to be played.
a tabular space, surface, or structure.
Origin of tablature
1565-75; < Middle French, Latinization (influenced by Latin tabula board) of Italian intavolatura, derivative of intavolare to put on a board, score Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tablature
Historical Examples
  • As Walther sings Sachs takes it down in tablature, calling out to him what sections are next required.

    Richard Wagner John F. Runciman
  • The first time he asked admittance to show you the tablature, and you did not want to receive him, I persuaded you to do so.

  • This set of thoughts is like the tablature prescribed to the singing animal above mentioned.

    Theodicy G. W. Leibniz
  • Robinson gives instructions for learning to play the cittern and for reading the tablature.

British Dictionary definitions for tablature


(music) any of a number of forms of musical notation, esp for playing the lute, consisting of letters and signs indicating rhythm and fingering
an engraved or painted tablet or other flat surface
Word Origin
C16: from French, ultimately from Latin tabulātum wooden floor, from tabula a plank
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 tablature

type of musical notation for lute or stringed instrument, 1570s, from French tablature (1550s), from Latin tabula "table" (see table (n.)); influenced by Italian tavolatura, from tavolare "to board, plank, enclose with boards."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tablature in Medicine

tablature tab·la·ture (tāb'lə-chur', -chər)

  1. An engraved tablet or surface.

  2. The cranial bones considered as two laminae separated by the diploe.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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