Definition of


  1. (noun, artifact) a dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet
  2. (noun, artifact) a short strip of material attached to or projecting from something in order to facilitate opening or identifying or handling it
    files with a red tab will be stored separately
    the collar has a tab with a button hole
    the filing cards were organized by cards having indexed tabs
  3. (noun, artifact) the key on a typewriter or a word processor that causes a tabulation
  4. (noun, communication) sensationalist journalism
  5. (noun, communication) the bill in a restaurant

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Tab

  1. "small flap," c.1600, possibly a dialectal word, of uncertain origin. Often interchangeable with tag (1). The verb meaning "to designate, label" is 1924, perhaps an alteration of tag (1). more
  2. "account, bill, check," 1889, Amer.Eng. colloquial, probably a shortened form of tabulation or of tablet in the sense of "a sheet for writing on." Fig. phrase to keep a tab on is recorded from 1890. more
  3. 1961, shortened form of tablet (esp. one of sugar containing LSD). As an abbreviation of tabloid (newspaper) it is 1990s slang. As a short form of tabulator key of a typewriter (later computer) it is recorded from 1916. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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