on the table

Idioms & Phrases

on the table

  1. Up for discussion, as in There are two new proposals on the table. [Mid-1600s]

  2. Postponed or put aside for later consideration, as in When they adjourned, three items were put on the table until the next meeting. [First half of 1700s] The table in both idioms is a figurative conference table. Also see lay one's cards on the table.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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