tableau

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tab·leau

 (tăb′lō′, tă-blō′)
n. pl. tab·leaux or tab·leaus (tăb′lōz′, tă-blōz′)
1. A vivid or graphic description: The movie was a tableau of a soldier's life.
2. A striking incidental scene, as of a picturesque group of people: "New public figures suddenly abound in the hitherto faceless totalitarian tableaux" (John McLaughlin).
3. An interlude during a scene when all the performers on stage freeze in position and then resume action as before.
4. A tableau vivant.

[French, from Old French tablel, diminutive of table, surface prepared for painting; see table.]

tableau

(ˈtæbləʊ)
n, pl -leaux (-ləʊ; -ləʊz) or -leaus
1. (Art Terms) same as tableau vivant
2. (Theatre) a pause during or at the end of a scene on stage when all the performers briefly freeze in position
3. any dramatic group or scene
4. (Logic) logic short for semantic tableau
[C17: from French, from Old French tablel a picture, diminutive of table]

tab•leau

(tæˈbloʊ, ˈtæb loʊ)

n., pl. tab•leaux (tæˈbloʊz, ˈtæb loʊz)
tab•leaus.
1. a picture, as of a scene.
2. a picturesque grouping of people or objects.
3. a representation of a picture, scene, etc., by one or more persons suitably costumed and posed.
[1690–1700; < French: board, picture]

Tableau

 a group of persons and props used to produce a picturesque effect, 1813.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tableau - a group of people attractively arranged (as if in a painting)
arrangement - an orderly grouping (of things or persons) considered as a unit; the result of arranging; "a flower arrangement"
2.tableau - any dramatic scene
panorama, vista, view, aspect, scene, prospect - the visual percept of a region; "the most desirable feature of the park are the beautiful views"

tableau

noun picture, scene, representation, arrangement, spectacle a nativity tableau
Translations

tableau

[ˈtæbləʊ] N (tableaux or tableaus (pl)) [ˈtæbləʊz] (Art, Theat) → cuadro m (vivo)

tableau

n pl <-s or -x> (Art, Theat) → Tableau nt; (fig)Bild nt, → Szene f

tableau

[ˈtæbləʊ] n (tableaux (pl)) (Theatre) → quadro vivente
References in classic literature ?
It needed only the extravagant contrast presented by that gentleman to complete the tableau.
The tableau all waned at last with the pallidness aloft; and once more the Pequod and every soul on her decks were wrapped in a pall.
Colonel Dent, their spokesman, demanded "the tableau of the whole;" whereupon the curtain again descended.
There were Dejah Thoris, Sola, and Sarkoja, and as my fleeting glance swept over them a little tableau was presented which will stand graven in my memory to the day of my death.
And from the wings a hideously bent and disfigured old man watched the tableau in the box, his pock-marked features working spasmodically in varying expressions that might have marked every sensation in the gamut from pleasure to terror.
The cart must be tastefully ornamented; and if you and I dress ourselves as Neapolitan reapers, we may get up a striking tableau, after the manner of that splendid picture by Leopold Robert.
At sight of this tableau, many of the men in blue sprang from behind their covers and made an ungainly dance of joy.
The only thing that was pleasant to him in that odious tableau -- such is the instability of the human mind -- was the sullen face of Grimaud, for whom he had at first conceived such a hatred and who now was all his hope.
At the back of the estrade, and attached to a moveable partition dividing this schoolroom from another beyond, was a large tableau of wood painted black and varnished; a thick crayon of white chalk lay on my desk for the convenience of elucidating any grammatical or verbal obscurity which might occur in my lessons by writing it upon the tableau; a wet sponge appeared beside the chalk, to enable me to efface the marks when they had served the purpose intended.
Blanche, she too stared wildly at the Grandmother, with eyebrows raised and her lips parted-- while the Prince and the German savant contemplated the tableau in profound amazement.
I scarcely looked up until the good fellow had turned his back upon the final tableau of watchful officer and prostrate prisoner and gone out wheezing into the night.
The carnivore was crouching to spring as Tarzan discovered the tragic tableau.