a spoon larger than a teaspoon or a dessert spoon, used in serving food at the table and as a standard measuring unit in recipes.

1755–65; table + spoon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tablespoon (ˈteɪbəlˌspuːn)
1.  a spoon, larger than a dessertspoon, used for serving food, etc
2.  Also called: tablespoonful the amount contained in such a spoon
3.  a unit of capacity used in cooking, medicine, etc, equal to half a fluid ounce or three teaspoons

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1763, from table (n.) + spoon (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tablespoon ta·ble·spoon (tā'bəl-spōōn')

Abbr. T, tbsp. A measure of about 15 milliliters.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Butter featured in his books by the chunk and the double-tablespoon.
Nothing will guarantee you never fall ill as surely as a heaping tablespoon of
In the old days, people took a full tablespoon full of cod liver oil year round.
When you see damage and need to spray, add one tablespoon of the mixture to a
  pint of water.
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