AskDefine | Define tablecloth

Dictionary Definition

tablecloth n : a covering spread over a dining table

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A cloth used to cover and protect a table, especially for a dining table.


a cloth used to cover and protect a table, especially for a dining table


  • 1893: Horatio Alger, Jr., Facing the World
    Just across the field stood a small house. In the yard the week's washing was hung out. Among the articles was a red tablecloth.

Extensive Definition

A table cloth is a cloth used to cover a table. Typically table cloths are made of cotton or artificial fabrics. They are often designed to be easy to wipe clean. More expensive items may be made from silk, linen or lace. While many table cloths are meant to protect the table from being stained or scratched, they may also be used purely for decorative purposes, either hanging near two ends vertically over two parallel edges of the table, or hang mostly vertical along all four edges of the table, with bunched folds hanging at the four corners of the table.
A popular "magic trick" involved pulling a loaded tablecloth away from a table but leaving the plates behind. This trick relies on inertia. This can be very dangerous, and is not recommended with expensive china.
tablecloth in Czech: Ubrus
tablecloth in Danish: Borddug
tablecloth in German: Tischdecke
tablecloth in Spanish: Mantel
tablecloth in French: Nappe de table
tablecloth in Hebrew: מפת שולחן
tablecloth in Dutch: Tafelkleed
tablecloth in Norwegian: Duk
tablecloth in Polish: Obrus
tablecloth in Sicilian: Tuvagghia
tablecloth in Swedish: Bordsduk
tablecloth in Chinese: 桌布
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