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This tablespoon has a capacity of about 15 mL.

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 States[1] 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 (versus a 'heaping spoonful or heaped tablespoon, which is as much as can be held in the spoon).

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

Older definitions

The traditional U.S. interpretation of the tablespoon as a unit of volume was:[2]

1 U.S. tablespoon = ½ U.S. fl. oz. (approx. 14.787 mL)

This was considered slightly inconvenient 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 utilized to measure ingredients when other measuring devices are unavailable. For instance, 8 tablespoons is equivalent to ½ a cup.

The traditional British tablespoon could vary from 1/2 to 5/8 Imperial fl. oz. (14.2 mL to 17.8 mL).


  1. 21 CFR 101.9(b)(5)(viii)
  2. Mechtly, E. A: The International System of units. NASA-SP=7012, 1964, 1973 [1]

de:Esslöffel it:Cucchiaio da tavola (unità di misura) nl:Eetlepel no:Spiseskje (mål) sv:Matsked

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