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[mi-nis-kuh s] /mɪˈnɪs kəs/
noun, plural menisci
[mi-nis-ahy, -nis-kahy, -kee] /mɪˈnɪs aɪ, -ˈnɪs kaɪ, -ki/ (Show IPA),
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.
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
Related forms
[mi-nis-koid] /mɪˈnɪs kɔɪd/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for meniscus
  • Your average water-walking insect makes a mountain out of a meniscus.
  • Jeremy's meniscus is touching the bottom of the graduated cylinder there.
  • If the cyst is painful, the goal of treatment is to correct the problem, such as arthritis or a meniscus tear.
  • The partial tear of the medial meniscus was found today in a magnetic resonance imaging exam.
  • The doctors also repaired a posterior tear of the medial meniscus in his left knee.
  • Then the surgeon told her that there was no point in repairing her meniscus because that was not her problem.
  • Foreman tore his anterior cruciate ligament and damaged a meniscus in his right knee.
  • The doctors said that the torn meniscus in the left knee had started healing and that the operation had gone perfectly.
  • Then he had an operation on his torn right meniscus.
  • Shortly thereafter, he had planned surgery to remove part of the meniscus in his right knee.
British Dictionary definitions for meniscus


noun (pl) -nisci (-ˈnɪsaɪ), -niscuses
the curved upper surface of a liquid standing in a tube, produced by the surface tension
a crescent or half-moon-shaped body or design
a crescent-shaped fibrous cartilage between the bones at certain joints, esp at the knee
a crescent-shaped lens; a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens
Derived Forms
meniscoid, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek mēniskos crescent, diminutive of mēnē moon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meniscus

"crescent-shaped body," 1690s in reference to lenses, c.1812 in reference to liquid surfaces, Modern Latin meniscus, from Greek meniskos "lunar crescent," diminutive of mene "moon" (see moon (n.)). Related: Meniscoid.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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meniscus in Medicine

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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meniscus in Science

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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