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tableau

[ta-bloh, tab-loh] /tæˈbloʊ, ˈtæb loʊ/
noun, plural tableaux
[ta-blohz, tab-lohz] /tæˈbloʊz, ˈtæb loʊz/ (Show IPA),
tableaus.
1.
a picture, as of a scene.
2.
a picturesque grouping of persons or objects; a striking scene.
3.
a representation of a picture, statue, scene, etc., by one or more persons suitably costumed and posed.
4.
Solitaire. the portion of a layout to which one may add cards according to suit or denomination.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < French: board, picture, Middle French tablel, diminutive of table table
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tableaus

tableau

/ˈtæbləʊ/
noun (pl) -leaux (-ləʊ; -ləʊz), -leaus
2.
a pause during or at the end of a scene on stage when all the performers briefly freeze in position
3.
any dramatic group or scene
4.
(logic) short for semantic tableau
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Old French tablel a picture, diminutive of table
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tableaus

tableau

n.

1690s, "a picturesque or graphic description or picture," from French tableau "picture, painting," from Old French table "slab, writing tablet" (see table (n.)) + diminutive suffix -eau, from Latin -ellus. Hence tableau-vivant (1817) "person or persons silent and motionless, enacting a well-known scene, incident, painting, etc.," popular 19c. parlor game, literally "living picture."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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