1. a small hard round piece of medicine that you swallow
a. a small hard piece of a substance, especially one that dissolves in water
2. a mobile computing device, larger than a mobile phone, that can browse the internet, handle email, play music and video, and display e-books. The user controls it by touching the screen.
3. a flat piece of stone, clay etc with writing cut into it
Origin and usage
The word tablet comes from either the Medieval Latin ‘tabuleta’ meaning ‘table’ or the Old French ‘tablete’ meaning ‘small table, display counter’. It first appeared in English in the early 1300s to describe a flat stone used to write on, though alternative uses came later. Tablet in reference to a pill is from 1580 and to describe a pad of paper is from 1880.
The word tablet has a number of different, yet related meanings. Whether the word is used to describe a flat stone with a carved inscription, a small piece of medicine taken by mouth, a pad of paper or a mobile computing device, all tablets share some common characteristics.
Tablets are usually small and easily transported or held in the hand. They are flat and generally shaped like a rectangle. Today, tablet computers are extremely popular because of their small size, convenient shape and powerful features.
“Paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online, and when I go to a meeting and want to jot things down, I bring my tablet PC. It’s fully synchronized with my office machine, so I have all the files I need. It also has a note-taking piece of software called OneNote, so all my notes are in digital form.”
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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