noun, plural menisci [mi-nis-ahy, -nis-kahy, -kee] , meniscuses.
a crescent or a crescent-shaped body.
the convex or concave upper surface of a column of liquid, the curvature of which is caused by surface tension.
Optics. a lens with a crescent-shaped section; a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens. See diag. under lens.
Anatomy. a disk of cartilage between the articulating ends of the bones in a joint.

1685–95; < Neo-Latin < Greek mēnískos crescent, diminutive of mḗnē moon

meniscoid [mi-nis-koid] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
meniscus (mɪˈnɪskəs)
n , pl -nisci, -niscuses
1.  the curved upper surface of a liquid standing in a tube, produced by the surface tension
2.  a crescent or half-moon-shaped body or design
3.  a crescent-shaped fibrous cartilage between the bones at certain joints, esp at the knee
4.  a crescent-shaped lens; a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens
[C17: from New Latin, from Greek mēniskos crescent, diminutive of mēnē moon]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"crescent-shaped body," 1693 in ref. to lenses, c.1812 in ref. to liquid surfaces, Mod.L. meniscus, from Gk. meniskos "lunar crescent," dim. of mene "moon."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

meniscus me·nis·cus (mə-nĭs'kəs)
n. pl. me·nis·cus·es or me·nis·ci (-nĭs'ī, -kī, -kē)

  1. A crescent-shaped body.

  2. A concavo-convex lens.

  3. The curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a container that is concave if the liquid wets the walls and convex if it does not.

  4. A disk of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the ends of bones in a joint.

me·nis'cal (-kəl) or me·nis'cate' (-kāt') or me·nis'coid' (-koid') or men'is·coi'dal (měn'ĭs-koid'l) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
meniscus   (mə-nĭs'kəs)  Pronunciation Key 

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Plural menisci (mə-nĭs'ī, -kī, -kē) or meniscuses
  1. A lens that is concave on one side and convex on the other.

  2. The curved upper surface of a column of liquid in a container. The surface is concave if the molecules of the liquid are attracted to the container walls and convex if they are not. See also surface tension.

  3. A piece of cartilage shaped like a crescent and located at the junction of two bones in a joint. The meniscus acts to absorb shock.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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