Difference Wiki

Tab vs. Tub: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 12, 2023
A tab is a small flap or projection, often for holding, securing, or closing, while a tub is a large, open, deep container, typically for holding liquids or washing.

Key Differences

The words "Tab" and "Tub" belong to utterly different categories in the English language. While both are nouns, their applications and meanings differ substantially. A tab typically refers to a small projection, flap, or piece extending from a card, paper, or folder, which can be used for holding, securing, or closing. Think of the tabs in a binder or browser tabs on the internet. On the other hand, a tub denotes a large and open container, generally used for holding liquids, bathing, or washing items.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
In the world of technology, the word "Tab" takes on an entirely different meaning. It can refer to a section of a computer interface that you can click on to access different functions. Contrastingly, "Tub" remains consistent in its definition across various contexts, firmly rooting itself in the realm of physical containers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
Another distinction is the idiomatic usage of these words. For example, "picking up the tab" means to cover the bill, especially in restaurants. Meanwhile, "Tub" does not have many idiomatic expressions tied to its definition.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
Lastly, while "Tab" possesses versatility, being used in contexts ranging from binders to browsers, "Tub" is straightforward, always bringing to mind a container or vessel. Such clear distinction ensures that these terms are not usually confused, even though they sound somewhat similar.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

A small flap or projection
A large, deep, open container
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
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Usage

In binders, browsers, payment (idiomatic)
In bathrooms, for washing, holding liquids
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Origin

Middle English (possibly from Old Norse tabbi)
Middle English tubbe
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Syllables

One
One
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Common associations

Internet browsers, bills in restaurants
Bathing, laundry, container for liquids
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Tab and Tub Definitions

Tab

A bill or check, especially in a restaurant.
He generously offered to pick up the tab.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
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Tub

A small, round container with a flat lid, especially for margarine or ice cream.
I bought a tub of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

A key on a typewriter or computer keyboard that moves the carriage or cursor to the next preset position.
Press the tab key to align the text.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Tub

An open, flat-bottomed vessel, usually round and typically wider than it is deep, used for washing, packing, or storing.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A projection, flap, or short strip attached to an object to facilitate opening, handling, or identification.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

The amount that such a vessel can hold.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A small, usually decorative flap or tongue on a garment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

The contents of such a vessel.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A small auxiliary airfoil that is attached to a larger one and that helps stabilize an aircraft.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A bathtub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A pull-tab.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(Informal) A bath taken in a bathtub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A bill or check, such as one for a meal in a restaurant.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(Informal) A wide, clumsy, slow-moving boat.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

Cost; price
The tab for upgrading the computers would be high.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A bucket used for conveying ore or coal up a mine shaft.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A tabulator on a typewriter.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A coal car used in a mine.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A key on a computer keyboard that, when pressed, inserts a special ASCII character used for formatting text, as in indenting a line or block of text.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

To pack or store in a tub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

This special ASCII character.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

To wash or bathe in a tub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A tabloid.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

To take a bath.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

To supply with a tab or tabs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A flat-bottomed vessel, of width similar to or greater than its height, used for storing or packing things, or for washing things in.
He bought a tub of lard to roast the potatoes in.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

To press the tab on a typewriter or computer keyboard
Tab over to the next column.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

The contents or capacity of such a vessel.
She added a tub of margarine to the stew.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A small flap or strip of material attached to something, for holding, manipulation, identification, opening etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A bathtub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(slang) An ear.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A slow-moving craft.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A navigational widget, resembling a physical tab, for switching between documents or sets of controls.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

Any structure shaped like a tub, such as a certain old form of pulpit, a short broad boat, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(GUI) The page or form associated with such a navigational widget.
How many tabs are open in your Web browser?
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A small cask.
A tub of gin
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A fast march or run with full kit.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

Any of various historically designated quantities of goods to be sold by the tub (butter, oysters, etc).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A restaurant bill.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(mining) A box or bucket in which coal or ore is sent up a shaft.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

Credit account, e.g., in a shop or bar; slate
Put this round on my tab, please, barman.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(obsolete) A sweating in a tub; a tub fast.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(by extension) The cost or bill for anything.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(slang) A corpulent or obese person.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(computing) A space character that extends to the next aligned column, traditionally used for tabulation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(transitive) To plant, set, or store in a tub.
To tub a plant
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A cigarette.
Giv' us a tab man!
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

(ambitransitive) To bathe in a tub.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A form of musical notation indicating fingering rather than the pitch of notes, commonly used for stringed instruments.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

An open wooden vessel formed with staves, bottom, and hoops; a kind of short cask, half barrel, or firkin, usually with but one head, - used for various purposes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(Oxbridge slang) A student of Cambridge University.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

The amount which a tub contains, as a measure of quantity; as, a tub of butter; a tub of camphor, which is about 1 cwt., etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(colloquial) A tabloid newspaper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

Any structure shaped like a tub: as, a certain old form of pulpit; a short, broad boat, etc., - often used jocosely or opprobriously.
All being took up and busied, some in pulpits and some in tubs, in the grand work of preaching and holding forth.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(informal) A tablet, especially one containing illicit drugs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A sweating in a tub; a tub fast.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(transitive) To affix with tabs; to label.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A small cask; as, a tub of gin.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

(computing) To use the Tab key on a computer to advance the cursor or move the input focus, or on a typewriter to advance the carriage.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A box or bucket in which coal or ore is sent up a shaft; - so called by miners.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

The flap or latchet of a shoe fastened with a string or a buckle.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

To plant or set in a tub; as, to tub a plant.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A tag. See Tag, 2.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

To make use of a bathing tub; to lie or be in a bath; to bathe.
Don't we all tub in England ?
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A loop for pulling or lifting something.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A relatively large open container that you fill with water and use to wash the body
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A border of lace or other material, worn on the inner front edge of ladies' bonnets.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A large open vessel for holding or storing liquids
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A loose pendent part of a lady's garment; esp., one of a series of pendent squares forming an edge or border.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

The amount that a tub will hold;
A tub of water
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A small projecting piece of a file folder, file card, or similar sheet used in a filing system, on which a notation is written to permit convenient search for the folder, card, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A large and deep container for holding liquids or for bathing.
She relaxed in the tub after a long day.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

A bill or check for some purchase, as in a restaurant; as, the salesman will pick up the tab.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A two-wheeled cart or trailer, often pulled by a tractor.
They loaded the hay into the tub to transport it to the barn.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

A key on a typewriter or computer keyboard which advances the carriage or curser to the next (preset) tab position; - used especially to type or print text or numbers in columns.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A shallow, rectangular container used for washing clothes.
My grandmother used to wash clothes in an old metal tub.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

The bill in a restaurant;
He asked the waiter for the check
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tub

A broad, open, wooden vessel, traditionally used for brewing.
The brewery had an old-fashioned tub they used for special batches.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

Sensationalist journalism
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

The key on an electric typewriter that causes a tabulation
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A short strip of material attached to or projecting from something in order to facilitate opening or identifying or handling it;
Pull the tab to open the can
Files with a red tab will be stored separately
The collar has a tab with a button hole
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2022

Tab

A small projecting flap or strip used for hanging, securing, or closing.
I opened the soda can by pulling the tab.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

A section of a computer interface with a label that you can click on to see its contents.
I have too many tabs open in my browser.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Tab

A small piece of cloth or other material that attaches to something larger.
The tag on the shirt had a tab with washing instructions.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

FAQs

Are ice cream containers referred to as tubs?

Yes, ice cream is often sold in containers called tubs.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

In which device is the "Tab" key commonly found?

The "Tab" key is commonly found on computer keyboards.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What is the purpose of a "Tab" in a binder?

In binders, a "Tab" helps organize and separate papers for quick access.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Is a "Tub" solely designed for bathing?

No, a "Tub" can refer to any large, open container, often for holding liquids or other materials.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What does the phrase "pick up the tab" mean?

It means to pay the bill, especially in a dining context.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What is a common use of the word "Tab" in technology?

In technology, a "Tab" often refers to a separate section or page in web browsers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can tubs be used for activities other than bathing?

Absolutely, tubs can be used for washing clothes, holding drinks, gardening, and more.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

How is "Tab" used in the context of soda cans?

On soda cans, a "Tab" is the metal piece you pull to open the can.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What does the idiom "keeping tabs on someone" imply?

It means monitoring or watching someone closely.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What's a "hot tub"?

A "hot tub" is a large tub filled with hot water used for relaxation or hydrotherapy, often with massaging jets.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

What materials can tubs be made of?

Tubs can be made of various materials, including porcelain, metal, plastic, and acrylic.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can a "Tub" be a small container for butter or margarine?

Yes, smaller containers for butter or margarine are often referred to as tubs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What's the function of the "Tab" key on a keyboard?

The "Tab" key is used to move the cursor to the next preset position, aiding in text alignment.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

How are "clawfoot tubs" different from regular tubs?

"Clawfoot tubs" are freestanding bathtubs raised off the ground by ornately designed feet.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

How does a browser "Tab" help in multitasking?

Browser "Tabs" allow users to open multiple web pages within a single browser window, aiding in multitasking.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Do "Tabs" play a role in music?

Yes, in music, "Tabs" or "tablature" provide instructions for playing specific notes on instruments, especially guitars.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023

Is there a particular shape associated with tubs?

While many picture tubs as oval or rectangular, they can come in various shapes and designs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can "Tab" also refer to a bill or check in a restaurant?

Yes, "Tab" can colloquially refer to a bill or check, especially in dining contexts.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

What is a "laundry tub"?

A "laundry tub" is a sink designed for washing clothing or other fabrics.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

How are "jacuzzi" and "tub" related?

A "jacuzzi" is a brand and a type of hot tub with massaging jets. Over time, it's become a generic term for any tub with jets, though technically, it's a brand name.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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