AskDefine | Define tableau

Dictionary Definition



1 a group of people attractively arranged (as if in a painting) [syn: tableau vivant]
2 any dramatic scene [also: tableaux (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From French tableau < Old French tablel, "a surface which is used primarily for painting"



  1. a striking and vivid representation; a picture
  2. a vivid graphic scene of a group of people arranged as in a painting



  • lang=fr|/ta.blɔ/
  • SAMPA: /ta.blO/


  1. painting
  2. picture (a captured image)
  3. board (on which to write)
  4. table (arrangement of rows and columns)
  5. chart

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Tableau (plural: tableaux; from the French diminutive of "table", sometimes meaning "picture") may mean:

See also

tableau in Breton: Taolenn
tableau in German: Tableau
tableau in French: Tableau
tableau in Dutch: Tableau
tableau in Japanese: タブロー
tableau in Polish: Tableau

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Grand Guignol, Passion play, Tom show, abstract, abstraction, act drop, altarpiece, antimasque, arrangement, asbestos, asbestos board, audience success, backdrop, ballet, batten, block print, bomb, border, broadcast drama, burlesque show, charade, cliff hanger, closet drama, cloth, collage, color print, comedy drama, composition, copy, cosmorama, coulisse, counterweight, critical success, curtain, curtain board, cyclorama, daub, daytime serial, decor, dialogue, diorama, diptych, display, documentary drama, drama, dramalogue, dramatic play, dramatic series, drop, drop curtain, duodrama, duologue, effect, engraving, epic theater, exhibit, exhibition, experimental theater, exposition, extravaganza, failure, fire curtain, flat, flipper, flop, fresco, gasser, georama, giveaway, grouping, hanging, happening, hit, hit show, icon, illumination, illustration, image, improvisational drama, legitimate drama, light show, likeness, masque, melodrama, miniature, minstrel show, miracle, miracle play, monodrama, monologue, montage, morality, morality play, mosaic, mural, music drama, musical revue, myriorama, mystery, mystery play, opera, pageant, pageantry, panel show, panorama, pantomime, parade, pastoral, pastoral drama, phantasmagoria, photograph, picture, piece, play, playlet, pomp, presentation, print, problem play, psychedelic show, psychodrama, quiz show, radio drama, rag, representation, reproduction, review, revue, scene, scenery, screen, sensational play, serial, shifting scene, show, side scene, sight, sitcom, situation comedy, sketch, skit, soap, soap opera, sociodrama, spectacle, stage play, stage screw, stage show, stained glass window, stencil, still life, straight drama, success, suspense drama, tab, tableau vivant, talk show, tapestry, teaser, teleplay, television drama, television play, theater of cruelty, tormentor, total theater, transformation, transformation scene, triptych, variety show, vaudeville, vaudeville show, vehicle, wall painting, wing, wingcut, woodcut, word-of-mouth success, work
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