—n. 1. a small flap, strap, loop, or similar appendage, as on a garment, used for pulling, hanging, or decoration.
2. a tag or label.
3. a small projection from a card, paper, or folder, used as an aid in filing.
4. Informal.a bill, as for a meal in a restaurant; check.
5. a small piece attached or intended to be attached, as to an automobile license plate.
6. a small flap or tongue of material used to seal or close the opening of a container.
7. Also called tabulator. a stop on a typewriter, actuated by a key, that moves the carriage, typing element, etc., a predetermined number of spaces, used for typing material in columns, for fixed indentations, etc.
8. a programmed command on a computer, actuated by a key, that moves the cursor or printhead a predetermined number of spaces, used for keying material in columns, for fixed indentations, etc.
9. Theat. a. a small, often narrow, drop curtain, for masking part of the stage.
b. See tableau curtain. 10. Aeron.a small airfoil hinged to the rear portion of a control surface, as to an elevator, aileron, or rudder. Cf. trim tab. 11. keep tabs or tab on,Informal.to keep an account of; check on; observe: The police kept tabs on the suspect's activities.
—v.t. 1. to furnish or ornament with a tab or tabs.
2. to name or designate.
—v.i. Also,tabulate.to operate the tab function on a typewriter or computer.
Pronunciation: (tab),[key] —n.Informal. 1. tabloid (def. 1).
2. Slang.a tablet, as of a drug or medication.