There are 2 definitions of sable in English:

sable1

Line breaks: sable
Pronunciation: /ˈseɪb(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • 1A marten with a short tail and dark brown fur, native to Japan and Siberia and valued for its fur.
    • Martes zibellina, family Mustelidae
    More example sentences
    • Tradition had it that the island was rich in game (reindeer, polar bears, sables, marten, fish, and certain monsters - perhaps walrus), and that it abounded in marble, crystals, and so on.
    • Then patrol the shorelines to observe sables and the world's biggest brown bears, and to scout potential nature-reserve sites.
    • He wrote, ‘The principal riches of Kamchatka consist in the great number of wild beasts: among them are foxes, sables, stone foxes, hares, marmots, ermines, weasels, wolves, reindeer, wild and tame, and stone rams.’
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The fur of the sable.
    More example sentences
    • Larsson should have been adorned in ermine and sable in Andalucia.
    • Even at its zenith in the mid-20th century, mink had few rivals, with only sable and the pelts of big cats bestowing anywhere near the same prestige.
    • He does not wear his silks and sables to accurately represent his status, nor does he dress sumptuously to insidiously advance himself.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French, in the sense 'sable fur', from medieval Latin sabelum, of Slavic origin.

More definitions of sable

Definition of sable in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea

There are 2 definitions of sable in English:

sable2

Line breaks: sable
Pronunciation: /ˈseɪb(ə)l
 
/

adjective

literary or Heraldry
  • Black: the sable blackness of her hair [postpositive]: six martlets sable
    More example sentences
    • Her skin was sable black and shining lightening blue.
    • As he left, he did not notice the hateful eyes of the sable raven, watching Calanthas go, from a windowsill.
    • Although her intended audience is not black, she still refers to ‘our sable race.’

noun

Back to top  
  • 1 [mass noun] literary or Heraldry Black.
    More example sentences
    • Colours are orchestrated in dark tones, such as sable, olive and black accented with flashes of ultramarine.
    • They say he's tall and handsome, and that his hair is as black as sable.
    • Shar-Pei come in just about every colour there is - black, red, red-fawn, fawn, black-pointed cream, sable and blue.
  • 1.1 (sables) • archaic Mourning garments.
    More example sentences
    • Our spirits are dressed in sables, and to laugh so very suddenly seems out of character.
    • He is in mourning for his father still, even though it's been 3 years, and goes about dressed in sables which people think terribly unfashionable.
  • 2 (also sable antelope) A large African antelope with long curved horns, the male of which has a black coat and the female a russet coat, both having a white belly.
    • Hippotragus niger, family Bovidae
    More example sentences
    • The 14 species of the game include giraffes, zebras, sables, kudus, elands, impalas, pukus, waterbucks, reedbucks, siatoongas, bushbucks, common buickers and graycebucks.
    • Also present are elephant, sable antelope, reedbuck, common duiker, blue and vervet monkeys.
    • I grew up with impala and sable antelope, burnt-amber kudu, zebra and wiry wildebeest.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French (as a heraldic term), generally taken to be identical with sable1, although sable fur is dark brown.

More definitions of sable

Definition of sable in: