A tablespoon is a type of spoon used for serving.

Measure of volume

It is also a measure of volume used in cooking. It has various values around the world. It is abbreviated in English as T., tbs. or tbsp., and in German and Dutch as EL (from "Esslöffel" and "Eetlepel").
Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the United States21 CFR [ 101.9(b)(5)(viii)] ] define:

:1 tablespoon = 15 mL,

in line with the definition used in many other countries. In Australia, one tablespoon = 20 mL.

When used for solids, such as granulated sugar, it should be measured to the flattened level of the spoon — "level spoonful" versus a "heaping spoonful" or "heaped tablespoon", which is as much as can be held in the spoon, or a "rounded spoonful", which is twice a level spoonful, the solids above the level roughly mirroring those in the bowl.

Relationship to teaspoon

In most jurisdictions, one tablespoon equals three teaspoons. In Australia, however, one tablespoon is four teaspoons.

In Asia a tablespoon is equivalent to 2 teaspoons

Traditional definitions

The traditional U.S. interpretation of the tablespoon as a unit of volume is:Mechtly, E. A: The International System of units. NASA-SP=7012, 1964, 1973 [] ]

::1 U.S. tablespoon = ½ U.S. fl. oz. (approx. 14.787 mL)::1 U.S. tablespoon = 1/16 Cup

This is considered problematic in the context of nutrition labeling, where metric units are used even in the United States. However, this consideration does not lessen the factual relationship of a tablespoon to half of a fluid ounce, and tablespoons can be used to measure ingredients when other measuring devices are unavailable. For instance, 16 tablespoons is equivalent to one cup.

ee also

Teaspoon, also used to define quantities in recipes


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tablespoon — Ta ble*spoon , n. A spoon of the largest size commonly used at the table; distinguished from teaspoon, dessert spoon, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tablespoon — (n.) 1763, from TABLE (Cf. table) (n.) + SPOON (Cf. spoon) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • tablespoon — ► NOUN 1) a large spoon for serving food. 2) the amount held by such a spoon, in the UK considered to be 15 millilitres when used as a measurement in cookery …   English terms dictionary

  • tablespoon — [tā′bəl spo͞on΄] n. 1. a) a large spoon used for serving at table b) SOUPSPOON 2. a spoon used as a measuring unit in cookery, equal to about half a fluid ounce or 3 teaspoons: abbrev. tbs or tbsp 3. TABLESPOONFUL …   English World dictionary

  • tablespoon —    or tablespoonful    1. (tbsp, tblsp,Tsp or T)    a unit of volume used in food recipes. In the U.S., the tablespoon is equal to 1/2 fluid ounce; this is about 14.8 milliliters. In Canada, the traditional tablespoon is 1/2 Imperial fluid ounce… …   Dictionary of units of measurement

  • tablespoon — [[t]te͟ɪb(ə)lspuːn[/t]] tablespoons 1) N COUNT A tablespoon is a fairly large spoon used for serving food and in cooking. 2) N COUNT: usu N of n You can refer to an amount of food resting on a tablespoon as a tablespoon of food. ...a tablespoon… …   English dictionary

  • tablespoon — UK [ˈteɪb(ə)lˌspuːn] / US [ˈteɪb(ə)lˌspun] noun [countable] Word forms tablespoon : singular tablespoon plural tablespoons a) a large spoon that you use for serving food b) tablespoon or tablespoonful the amount of food or liquid that a… …   English dictionary

  • Tablespoon — An old fashioned but convenient household measure of capacity. A tablespoon holds about 3 teaspoons, each containing about 5 cc, so a tablespoon = about 15 cc of fluid. * * * A large spoon, used as a measure of the dose of a medicine, equivalent… …   Medical dictionary

  • tablespoon — n. a heaping; level tablespoon * * * [ teɪb(ə)lspuːn] level tablespoon a heaping …   Combinatory dictionary

  • tablespoon — ta|ble|spoon [ˈteıbəlspu:n] n 1.) a large spoon used for serving food 2.) also ta|ble|spoon|ful [ spu:nful] written abbreviation tbsp or tbs the amount that a tablespoon can hold, used as a unit for measuring food or liquid in cooking tablespoon… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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