In HTML and XHTML1, the width of the <table> element is the distance from the left border edge to the right border edge.

The table in the figure below could be the result of a style sheet like this:

  table      { border: outset 10pt; 
               border-collapse: separate;
               border-spacing: 15pt }
  td         { border: inset 5pt }
  td.special { border: inset 10pt }  /* The top-left cell */

Back to section 17.6.1 of CSS 2.1