An example of a tableau is the picture of the firefighters raising the flag on top of the remains of the World Trade Center.
nounpl. -·leaux′ or -·leaus′
- a striking, dramatic scene or picture
- tableau vivant
Origin of tableauFrench from Old French tablel, diminutive of table: see table
nounpl. tab·leaux, or tab·leaus
- A vivid or graphic description: The movie was a tableau of a soldier's life.
- A striking incidental scene, as of a picturesque group of people: “New public figures suddenly abound in the hitherto faceless totalitarian tableaux” ( John McLaughlin )
- An interlude during a scene when all the performers on stage freeze in position and then resume action as before.
- A tableau vivant.
Origin of tableauFrench from Old French tablel diminutive of table surface prepared for painting ; see table .
(plural tableaux or tableaus)
From French tableau, from Old French tablel (“a surface which is used primarily for painting").