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From table +‎ spoon.


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tablespoon ‎(plural tablespoons)

  1. (Canada, US) A large spoon, used for eating food from a bowl.
    • 1840, John James Audubon, The Birds of America, Volume 1, page 178,
      Their eggs were deposited on a few bits of straw, and great caution was necessary in attempting to procure them, as the slightest touch crumbled their frail tenement into dust. By means of a tablespoon, I was enabled to procure many of them.
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, Northern UK) A spoon too large for eating, usually used for cooking or serving.
  3. (cooking) A unit of volume, the value of which varies regionally; in the US: three teaspoons or roughly 15 ml; in Britain and Canada: exactly 15 ml; in Australia: four teaspoons or 20 ml.
    • 1995 May 22, Salad Recipes, New York, page 51,
      Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet until hot and quickly saute the goat-cheese buttons on both sides until brown.
    • 2003, Better Homes and Gardens, Biggest Book of Bread Machine Recipes, page 416,
      In Australia, 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml, and there are 4 teaspoons in the Australian tablespoon.
    • 2006, Tempted: 150 Very Wicked Desserts, Murdoch Books, UK, copyright page,
      If you are using a 15 ml (3 teaspoon) tablespoon, for most recipes the difference will not be noticeable.
    • 2012, James Armstrong, Kellee Hollyman, General, Organic, and Biochemistry: An Applied Approach, Cengage Learning, US, page 27,
      The problem gives us a number of tablespoons of cooking oil and asks us to convert this amount into milliliters. We are also told that one tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons, but this is a relationship between two units, not an actual measurement.


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