A cable is most often two or more wires running side by side and bonded, twisted or braided together to form a single assembly, but can also refer to a heavy strong rope. In mechanics cables, otherwise known as wire ropes, are used for lifting, hauling and towing or conveying force through tension. In electrical engineering cables are used to carry electric currents. An optical cable contains one or more optical fibers in a protective jacket that supports the fibers.
Electric cables discussed here are mainly meant for installation in buildings and industrial sites. For power transmission at distances greater than a few kilometres see high-voltage cable, power cables and HVDC.