from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thin, flat, circular object or plate.
  • noun Something resembling such an object.
  • noun The disk used in a disc brake.
  • noun A disk used on a disk harrow.
  • noun A round, flattened structure in a plant or animal, such as an intervertebral disk.
  • noun Botany The central area bearing numerous disk flowers in the flower head of a composite plant such as a daisy.
  • noun An optical disc, especially a compact disc.
  • noun A magnetic disk, such as a floppy disk or hard disk.
  • noun The data stored on such objects.
  • noun A phonograph record.
  • noun A circular grid in a phototypesetting machine.
  • transitive verb To work (soil) with a disk harrow.
  • transitive verb To make (a recording) on a phonograph record.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small medicated gelatin tablet about of an inch thick, which contains a small amount of glycerin to prevent it from becoming hard and brittle: a simple means of applying accurately adjusted quantities of mydriatic, myotic, and anesthetic alkaloids such as atropin, physostigmine, and cocaïne to the eye.
  • In agriculture, to cultivate with a disk-cultivator.
  • noun Same as discus, 1.
  • noun In the Gr. Ch., a paten.
  • noun 3. Any flat, or approximately or apparently flat, circular plate or surface.
  • noun Specifically In botany: The flat surface of an organ, such as a leaf, in distinction from the margin.
  • noun Any flat, circular, discus-shaped growth, as the adhesive disks which form on the tendrils of the Virginia creeper.
  • noun In the tubuliflorous Compositæ, the series of flowers having a tubular corolla, and forming the central portion or whole of the head, as distinct from a surrounding ligulate-flowered ray; also, the central portion of any radiate inflorescence
  • noun An enlargement of the torus of a flower about the pistil.
  • noun A name sometimes given to the bordered pits (otherwise called dots and discoid markings) which characterize the woody tissue of gymriosperms, as the pine.
  • noun The hymenium of a discocarp; the cup-like or otherwise expanded surface on which the asci are borne in Discomycetes.
  • noun In zoöl, and anatomy, any flattened and rounded surface or part; a discus.
  • noun In armor, same as roundel.
  • noun One of the collars separating and securing the cutters on a horizontal mandrel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A discus; a quoit.
  • noun A flat, circular plate.
  • noun (Astron.) The circular figure of a celestial body, as seen projected of the heavens.
  • noun (Biol.) A circular structure either in plants or animals
  • noun The whole surface of a leaf.
  • noun The central part of a radiate compound flower, as in sunflower.
  • noun A part of the receptacle enlarged or expanded under, or around, or even on top of, the pistil.
  • noun The anterior surface or oral area of cœlenterate animals, as of sea anemones.
  • noun The lower side of the body of some invertebrates, especially when used for locomotion, when it is often called a creeping disk.
  • noun In owls, the space around the eyes.
  • noun a form of rotary steam engine.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any species of Discina.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A thin, flat, circular plate or similar object.
  • noun figuratively Something resembling a disk.
  • noun dated A vinyl phonograph/gramophone record.
  • noun computing A floppy disk - removable magnetic medium or a hard disk - fixed, persistent digital storage.
  • noun computing, nonstandard A disc - either a CD-ROM, an audio CD, a DVD or similar removable storage medium.
  • noun agriculture A harrow.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin discus, quoit, from Greek diskos, from dikein, to throw; see deik- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek δίσκος (diskos, "a circular plate suited for hurling"), from δικείν (dikein, "to hurl, to launch").


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  • disk = underlying technology is magnetic

    disc = underlying technology is optical

    August 29, 2010

  • in cycling, a disk is a rotor in disk brakes - in the cycling use, disks barely resemble a 'disk' due to the cutouts to reduce weight, improve air cooling, and promote mud shedding.

    January 12, 2013

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    January 14, 2013