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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tableau

 a group of persons and props used to produce a picturesque effect, 1813.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

tableau

noun picture, scene, representation, arrangement, spectacle a nativity tableau
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Translations

tableau

[ˈtæbləʊ] N (tableaux or tableaus (pl)) [ˈtæbləʊz] (Art, Theat) → cuadro m (vivo)
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

tableau

n pl <-s or -x> (Art, Theat) → Tableau nt; (fig)Bild nt, → Szene f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

tableau

[ˈtæbləʊ] n (tableaux (pl)) (Theatre) → quadro vivente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
You are simply good for nothing just now with your head stuffed full of dialogues and groans and tableaus. As for your tongue, it's a marvel it's not clean worn out."
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.
But if her conduct and appearance had already somewhat jarred upon their limited and precise sense of the fitness of things, what were they to think of the next little act in this tableau vivant?
Haidee's only reply was to direct her servant by a sign to withdraw the tapestried curtain that hung before the door of her boudoir, the framework of the opening thus made serving as a sort of border to the graceful tableau presented by the young girl's picturesque attitude and appearance.
At sight of this tableau, many of the men in blue sprang from behind their covers and made an ungainly dance of joy.
The carnivore was crouching to spring as Tarzan discovered the tragic tableau. Numa was almost beneath the branch upon which the ape-man stood, naked and unarmed.
The tableau was pretty, but the pose and juxtaposition were too eloquent and evident to require explanation.
It was upon this tableau that Daughtry entered, and, while he admired Michael much under the bright electric light, he realized the situation.
Just the sort of artful tableau vivant to impose on an old lady --was it not?
It needed only the extravagant contrast presented by that gentleman to complete the tableau. Attired in a suit of shining black alpaca, the visitor had evidently prepared himself with some care for a possible interview.
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.
It was as good as a tableau; in fact, it had all the look of being gotten up for that, though it wasn't.