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 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.
  • In agriculture, to cultivate with a disk-cultivator.
  • 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.

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