- a heavy, strong rope.
- a very strong rope made of strands of metal wire, as used to support cable cars or suspension bridges.
- a cord of metal wire used to operate or pull a mechanism.
- a thick hawser made of rope, strands of metal wire, or chain.
- cable’s length.
- Electricity. an insulated electrical conductor, often in strands, or a combination of electrical conductors insulated from one another.
- cable television.
- Architecture. one of a number of reedings set into the flutes of a column or pilaster.
verb (used with object), ca·bled, ca·bling.
- to send (a message) by cable.
- to send a cablegram to.
- to fasten with a cable.
- to furnish with a cable.
- to join (cities, parts of a country, etc.) by means of a cable television network: The state will be completely cabled in a few years.
verb (used without object), ca·bled, ca·bling.
- to send a message by cable.
- to cable-stitch.
- a strong thick rope, usually of twisted hemp or steel wire
- nautical an anchor chain or rope
- a unit of distance in navigation, equal to one tenth of a sea mile (about 600 feet)
- Also called: cable length, cable’s lengtha unit of length in nautical use that has various values, including 100 fathoms (600 feet)
- a wire or bundle of wires that conducts electricitya submarine cable See also coaxial cable
- Also called: overseas telegram, international telegram, cablegram a telegram sent abroad by submarine cable, radio, communications satellite, or by telephone line
- See cable stitch
- short for cable television
- to send (a message) to (someone) by cable
- (tr) to fasten or provide with a cable or cables
- (tr) to supply (a place) with or link (a place) to cable television
c.1500, “to tie up with cables;” 1871, American English, “to transmit by cable;” from cable (n.). Related: Cabled; cabling.
c.1200, from Old North French cable, from Medieval Latin capulum “lasso, rope, halter for cattle,” from Latin capere “to take, seize” (see capable). Technically, in nautical use, a rope 10 or more inches around; in non-nautical use, a rope of wire (not hemp or fiber). Given a new range of senses in 19c.: Meaning “message received by telegraphic cable” is from 1883 (short for cable message). Cable car is from 1879. Cable television first attested 1963; shortened form cable is from 1972.