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mid-14c., from Medieval Latin desca "table to write on" (mid-13c.), from Latin discus "quoit, platter, dish," from Greek diskos. The Medieval Latin is perhaps via Italian desco. Used figuratively of office or clerical work since 1797; desk job is first attested 1965.
a table, frame, or case with a sloping or horizontal top particularly designed to aid writing or reading, and often containing drawers, compartments, or pigeonholes.