Take off the Table: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
March 4, 2024

The phrase "take off the table" refers to removing something from consideration or making it unavailable for discussion, acceptance, or further deliberation. It is commonly used in negotiations, discussions, or decision-making processes. When an option or proposal is "taken off the table," it is no longer regarded as a possible choice or solution. For instance, in a business meeting, if a strategy is found to be unfeasible, someone might suggest, "Let's take that plan off the table."

In short:

  • It indicates that an option or proposal is no longer being considered.
  • The phrase is commonly used in negotiations, meetings, and strategic discussions.

What Does "Take Off the Table" Mean?

"Take off the table" is a metaphorical expression used to signify the removal of an option or topic from consideration or discussion. This can happen for various reasons, such as the option being irrelevant, unfeasible, or unacceptable. The phrase is commonly used in business and politics but can also apply to personal situations. For example, if friends are planning a trip and one destination is too expensive, they might decide to "take that destination off the table."

More about the phrase's meaning:

  • It suggests a conscious decision to exclude an option or topic from further consideration.
  • The phrase is often used to streamline discussions or negotiations by narrowing down choices.
  • It can also imply a strategic move in negotiations, where certain concessions or offers are withdrawn.
  • The phrase is not inherently negative but can sometimes indicate a change in circumstances or priorities.
  • Similar phrases include "rule out," "discard," "dismiss," and "eliminate from consideration."

Where Does "Take Off the Table" Come From?

The phrase "take off the table" likely originates from the imagery of a negotiation or meeting table, where various options or proposals are metaphorically placed "on the table" for discussion. Removing an item from this table signifies its exclusion from the discussion. The exact historical origin of the phrase is not clear, but it aligns with business and political jargon where table-based metaphors are common.

10 Examples of "Take Off the Table" in Sentences

To understand how "take off the table" is used, here are some examples:

  • After reviewing the financial risks, the company took the proposal off the table.
  • Due to budget constraints, several project ideas were taken off the table during the meeting.
  • From my perspective, you should take off the table any deal that sounds too good to be true.
  • After considering the feedback, the author took the controversial chapter off the table.
  • I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I have to take off the table one of the options you suggested.
  • During the family reunion planning, they took the idea of a cruise off the table due to logistical issues.
  • I know you're just yanking my chain, but I hope you don't take that offer off the table.
  • It would make a world of difference if we take off the table the options that are not sustainable or ethical in the long term.
  • She wants to move overseas but took the option off the table after discussing it with her family.
  • We were prevented from making hasty decisions, as the new policy was to take any unvetted proposals off the table.

Examples of "Take Off the Table" in Pop Culture

This phrase also appears in pop culture:

  • A White House press briefing mentioned that President Biden is working on tackling climate change, stating that additional sanctions are not off the table.
  • "Justice League: Doom" features a quote where Vandal Savage offers 100 million dollars plus expenses for each Justice Leaguer taken off the table.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Take Off the Table"

Here are some synonyms or similar phrases:

  • Rule out
  • Discard
  • Dismiss
  • Eliminate from consideration
  • Withdraw
  • Drop
  • Scrap
  • Abandon
  • Revoke
  • Shelve

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Take Off the Table":

  • What does "take off the table" imply in negotiations?

"Take off the table" in negotiations implies the withdrawal or exclusion of an offer, demand, or proposal from further consideration.

  • Is "take off the table" a formal expression?

The phrase is somewhat formal and is commonly used in professional or diplomatic contexts.

  • Can "take off the table" be used in personal conversations?

Yes, it can be used in personal contexts to indicate the removal of an option or idea from consideration.

  • Does "take off the table" always have a negative connotation?

Not necessarily. It can be neutral, simply indicating the removal of an option for practical reasons.

  • How does "take off the table" differ from "put on the back burner"?

"Take off the table" means completely removing an option, while "put on the back burner" implies delaying or deprioritizing it without entirely discarding it.

  • Is "take off the table" used in legal contexts?

Yes, it is used in legal contexts, especially in negotiations or settlement discussions.

  • Can "take off the table" be a strategic move in negotiations?

Absolutely. It can be used strategically to shift the direction of a negotiation or to signal a change in stance.

  • How is "take off the table" perceived in business discussions?

In business, it is seen as a straightforward way to communicate that an option is no longer viable or desired.

  • Can "take off the table" imply a final decision?

Yes, it often implies that the decision to remove the option is final and not open to further debate.

  • Does "take off the table" suggest a limited range of options?

It suggests that the range of options is being narrowed down by removing certain items from consideration.

Final Thoughts About "Take Off the Table"

The phrase "take off the table" plays a significant role in negotiation and decision-making. It is a clear and direct way to communicate that certain options or ideas are no longer being considered, helping to streamline discussions and clarify positions in various contexts.

In summary:

  • It is commonly used in professional, diplomatic, and personal settings to indicate the removal of options.
  • The phrase can be strategic in negotiations and does not always carry a negative connotation.
  • It differs from phrases like "put on the back burner," which suggests postponement rather than removal.
  • "Take off the table" is a helpful expression for clearly stating changes in plans or strategies.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy