Definitions

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

  • n. A crescent-shaped body.
  • n. A concavo-convex lens.
  • n. The curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a container that is concave if the liquid wets the container walls and convex if it does not.
  • n. A cartilage disk that acts as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet in a joint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A crescent.
  • n. A lens convex on one side and concave on the other.
  • n. An interarticular synovial cartilage or membrane; esp., one of the intervertebral synovial disks in some parts of the vertebral column of birds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A crescent or crescentshaped body. Specifically
  • n. A lens, convex on one side and concave on the other, and thicker in the center, so that its section presents the appearance of the moon in its first quarter.
  • n. The convex or concave surface of a liquid, caused by capillarity: thus, the mercury in a barometer has a convex meniscus, but spirit or water a concave meniscus.
  • n. In anatomy, an interarticular fibrocartilage, of a rounded, oval, disklike, or falcate shape, situated between the ends of bones, in the interior of joints, attached by the margins.
  • n. In zoology, a peculiar organ, of doubtful function, found in Echinorhynchus, a genus of acanthocephalous parasitic worms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (anatomy) a disk of cartilage that serves as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet at a joint
  • n. (optics) a lens that is concave on one side and convex on the other
  • n. (physics) the curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a vertical tube

Etymologies

New Latin, from Greek mēniskos, diminutive of mēnē, moon, month.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek μηνίσκος (mēniskos, "crescent"), from μήνη (mēnē, "moon") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I only find myself using this word when I'm filling up baby-bottles with water and Aptamil.

    September 20, 2008

  • "'Let us wait for the rain: have you looked at the glass?'

    'I have not.'

    'It began dropping in the first dog watch. It has already reached twenty-nine inches and it is still falling: look at the meniscus.'"
    --O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 104

    March 14, 2008