Etymology
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tablet (n.)
c. 1300, "slab or flat surface for an inscription" (especially the two Mosaic tables of stone), from Old French tablete "small table, merchant's display counter" (13c., Modern French tablette), diminutive of table "slab," or from Medieval Latin tabuleta (source also of Spanish tableta, Italian tavoletta), diminutive of Latin tabula (see table (n.)). The meaning "lozenge, pill" is first recorded 1580s; that of "pad of writing paper" in 1880.
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tab (n.3)
1961, shortened form of tablet (especially one of sugar containing LSD). As an abbreviation of tabloid (newspaper) it is 1990s slang. As a short form of tabulator key of a typewriter (later computer) it is recorded from 1916.
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tabloid (n.)

1884, Tabloid, "small tablet of medicine," trademark name (by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co.) for compressed or concentrated chemicals and drugs, a hybrid formed from tablet + Greek-derived suffix -oid. By 1898, it was being used figuratively to mean a compressed form or dose of anything, hence tabloid journalism (1901), and newspapers that typified it (1917), so called for having short, condensed news articles and/or for being small in size. Associated originally with Alfred C. Harmsworth, editor and proprietor of the London Daily Mail.

Mr. Harmsworth entered a printing office twenty years ago as office-boy, and today owns thirty periodicals besides The Mail. Upon a friendly challenge from Mr. Pulitzer of The New York World, the English journalist issued the first number of The World for the new century in the ideal form. The size of the page was reduced to four columns and the general make-up was similar in appearance to that of one of the weekly magazines. Current news was presented in condensed and tabulated form, of which the editor says: "The world enters today upon the twentieth or time-saving century. I claim that by my system of condensed or tabloid journalism hundreds of working hours can be saved each year." ["The Twentieth Century Newspaper," in The Social Gospel, February 1901]
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tabula rasa (n.)

"the mind in its primary state," 1530s, from Latin tabula rasa, literally "scraped tablet," from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see table (n.)) + rasa, fem. past participle of radere "to scrape away, erase" (see raze (v.)). A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, literally "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).

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tab (n.2)
"account, bill, check," 1888, American English colloquial, probably a shortened form of tabulation or of tablet in the sense "a sheet for writing on." Figurative phrase keep a tab on is recorded from 1890.
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codicil (n.)

"a writing added to a will to explain, alter, add to, or revoke original terms," early 15c., from Latin codicillus "a short writing, a small writing tablet," diminutive of codex (genitive codicis) "book" (see code (n.)). Related: Codicillary.

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tabular (adj.)
"table-shaped," 1650s, from French tabulaire or directly from Latin tabularis "of a slab or tablet, of boards or planks," from tabula "slab" (see table (n.)). Meaning "arranged in a list or columns; ascertained or computed by means of tables" is from 1710.
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tessera (n.)
plural tesserae, "small, square piece of stone," 1650s, from Latin tessera "a die, cube, square tablet with writing on it" used as a token or ticket, from Ionic Greek tessera, neuter of tesseres (Attic tessares) "the numeral four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four").
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cere (n.)

"wax," late 15c., from French cire "wax" (12c.), from Latin cera "wax, wax seal, wax writing tablet," related to Greek kēros "beeswax," which is of unknown origin, perhaps a non-IE word. As a verb, "to wax, cover with wax" (cloth, for waterproofing), late 14c., from Latin cerare, from cera. Related: Cered.

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diptych (n.)

1620s, "hinged, two-leaved tablet of wood, ivory, etc., with waxed inner surfaces, used by the Greeks and Romans for writing with the style," from Latin diptycha (plural), from late Greek diptykha, neuter plural of diptykhos "double-folded, doubled," from di- "two" (see di- (1)) + ptykhe "fold," which is of uncertain etymology. In art, "a pair of pictures or carvings on two panels hinged together," by 1852.

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