English Words in Action, Group T

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

tab (TAB) (s) (noun), tabs (pl)
1. A short strip of material, metal, cloth, etc., attached to an item to facilitate opening, finding the correct section of a divided content, etc.: William was told to buy file dividers with alphabetical tabs so he could file the pages of his research.
2. The bill or invoice for the purchase of something, typically in reference to the purchase of a meal, the rent of a hotel room, etc.: Shelby's host picked up the tab for dinner.
3. An informal term for the cost or price of something: What's the tab for these shoes?
table (s) (TAY buhl) (noun), tables (pl)
1. A flat-surfaced piece of furniture normally with legs, around which people may sit to eat or to share a meal: Joan said, "Rebekah, please set the dining room table with the good china dishes."
2. A piece of furniture, typically used for placing small objects on: A clock radio was on a little table by the bed.
3. The display of food for a meal: The country squire had a big house and a bountiful table.
4. A chart upon which information is displayed: The math book contained a multiplication table.
5. A list of materials or information contained in a document, often preceding the main body of the document: Find chapter three in the book by looking in the table of contents.
6. Etymology: from Latin tabula, "board, writing tablet, picture; other words; such as, "tablet" (writing pad) and "tableau" (vivid or graphic description) have become a part of English.

The term "tablet" picked up the additional sense of "flat pill" in Elizabethan times. From Tabloid, approximately a 100-year-old trademark for a tablet of condensed medications, we inherited the word "tabloid", a newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form; usually, with illustrated, often sensational material; so called, because of its condensed publication format.

table (verb), tables; tabled; tabling
To postpone or to put off for consideration at another time: The committee tabled the proposal until a later meeting.

Jim and Janice were tabling their trip until there was better weather.

tablet (TAB lit) (s) (noun), tablets (pl)
1. A writing pad comprised of paper that is fastened along one edge: Each student was instructed to have a pencil, or a pen, and a tablet with lined paper.
2. A thin metal plaque placed on a monument to indicate that it is a memorial: The statue had a bronze tablet listing the town's war heroes.
3. Small pills or pellets of something, frequently for medication: The doctor told Lenora to take two aspirin tablets, go to bed and then she would get relief from her pain and fever.

Tablets' tale of Russia's nuclear victims

The tablets were simple, and understated, so much so that some residents and many regular visitors had never noticed them.

The top tablet bore the alpha-beta-gamma symbol of radiation. The bottom one said: "To the victims of radioactive catastrophes, their courage and devotion to duty."

The tablets are among 40 or so memorials across Russia that commemorate not only Chernobyl, but also earlier disasters, or nuclear tests, that were kept secret for decades; near Chelyabinsk in 1957, at Semipalatinsk in 1949, and all who died or suffered by joining the hundreds of thousands of people who were drafted or who volunteered to clean up and encase the reactor or the "liquidation" of the Chernobyl accident, as the Soviet authorities called it.

—Excerpts compiled from
"The tablets' tale: Remembering Russia's nuclear victims" by Alison Smale;
International Herald Tribune; August 25, 2009; pages 1 and 3.
taboo, tabu (tuh BOO, ta BOO) (s) (noun); taboos, tabus (pl)
1. Something or a practice that is considered inappropriate or forbidden among particular cultures, religions, etc.: Eating pork is strictly taboo among certain religious groups.
2. A religious prohibition: The Polynesians have a taboo about mentioning certain sacred rites.
tag (s) (TAHG) (noun), tags (pl)
1. An identifying label attached to an item or individual which provides basic information: On clothes, tags usually indicate the brand, size of the garment, fabrics used, and the washing instructions.
2. A rude, unwelcome name or label: Dorothy didn't appreciate the tag of "lazy" that her supervisor used regarding her work.
3. Marks or designs that have been sprayed on a surface as part of graffiti: The teenagers were arrested for spraying tags on business and public buildings.
4. Programming language that provides for the sorting of information that is being loaded into the computer to indicate what should be displayed on the screen: Tags are the basic formatting tool used in HTML (hypertext markup language) and other markup languages; such as, XML.
tag (verb), tags; tagged; tagging
1. To provide identifying information on a small piece of material attached to something: All of the items in the store were tagged with printed price labels.
2. To write or to issue a piece of paper on a motor vehicle indicating parking or traffic violations: The traffic officer tagged the car that was parked beyond the time limit.
3. To mark or to vandalize a surface of walls, etc. with graffiti: The man was caught and arrested for tagging several business walls and windows in town.

Some students tagged the walls of the local high school.

4. To follow someone around: Harry's little daughter tagged after him everywhere he went in the morning and even insisted on tagging along with him when he went shopping.
tangle (s) (noun), tangles (pl)
1. A twisted knot or snarl of thread, rope, fishing line, hair, etc.: Jim had to get the tangles out of the string before he could use it to tie up the package.
2. A condition of confusion or disorder: Elaine and Norbert were caught up in a legal tangle as they were arranging to buy a new house.
3. A disagreement or fight: The police got into a tangle with the speeding driver after he pulled over, because he wouldn't open the door and get out as instructed.
tangle (verb), tangles; tangled; tangling
To cause or to become twisted together or intertwined, literally or figuratively: Carol's mother told her daughter not to tangle the yarn or she wouldn't be able to knit the sweater for her.

When Jim was fishing, he tangled his line and couldn't fish anymore until he untangled it.

Mark was being tangled in confusion about what the doctor was talking about.

tangled (adjective), more tangled, most tangled
Complicated or confusing: The divorce agreements were done without a tangled argument because they had prenuptial (pre-marriage) and postnuptial (after marriage) agreements.
tank (s) (noun), tanks (pl)
1. A large container for storing liquids or gases: There were several tanks filled with water and fish.
2. The amount of liquid or gas that a tank holds: Gary bought a tank of gas at a much higher price.
3. A sturdy container with rectangular glass sides, in which to keep live fish: Gary had two tanks in his living room for his tropical fish.
4. A fairly small body of water, especially one used for water storage: The tank was equipped with a filter to ensure that the water was drinkable.
5. A large armored combat vehicle with treads, a rotating turret, and a heavy gun used by military organizations: Someone has suggested that the best place for a military tank is in a museum.
6. In the U.S., an informal statement referring to a very bad situation or condition: Right now the global economy is in the tank.
7. A lightproof container for developing film, designed so that processing chemicals can be poured in and out without letting light get in: The camera technologist used a tank for transporting the solutions used for developing films.
tank (verb), tanks; tanked; tanking
1. To completely fail or to suffer a sudden decline or failure: Today several trading stocks tanked.

The movie tanked over the weekend even though it was supposed to be so great.

2. To make no effort to win a contest or to deliberately lose a game, match, etc.; such as, a tennis match, a basketball game, a football game, etc.: There are those who say the team deliberately tanked the game.
tank top (s) (noun), tank tops (pl)
In the U.S., a shirt which has no sleeves or collar and it usually has wide shoulder straps: Jerry preferred to wear tank tops; especially, during the summer or when he was working out in the fitness studio.
tanked (U.S.) (adjective), tanked up (British)
Referring to getting very drunk: Joe got tanked at the party.

Andy was tanked up on strong cider and, as a result, he was looking for a fight in the London bar.

tanker (s) (noun), tankers (pl)
A vehicle; such as a ship, truck, or aircraft which is designed to carry liquids; including, water, gas, oil, etc.: The tankers waited in line to go through the Panama Canal.

Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.