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Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[men-yoo, mey-nyoo] /ˈmɛn yu, ˈmeɪ nyu/
a list of the dishes served at a meal; bill of fare:
Ask the waiter for a menu.
the dishes served.
any list or set of items, activities, etc., from which to choose:
What's on the menu this weekend—golf, tennis, swimming?
Computers. a list of options available to a user, as displayed on a CRT or other type of screen.
Origin of menu
1650-60; < French: detailed list, noun use of menu small, detailed < Latin minūtus minute2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for menu
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To read the menu cards it was hard to believe we were in France, and that this was the second year of the war.

    With the Ulster Division in France Arthur Purefoy Irwin Samuels
  • If he gave a dinner, his menu won the respect of the waiter.

    Rene Mauperin Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
  • Unless the menu is planned for a special occasion, the cost of the various dishes should be made to balance.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • I can shut my eyes and remember the words and music of every menu that ever was printed.

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • Hunger attacked her, and she lunched at Claremont, thrilling with excitement, and careless of prices upon the menu.

    Find the Woman Arthur Somers Roche
British Dictionary definitions for menu


a list of dishes served at a meal or that can be ordered in a restaurant
a list of options displayed on a visual display unit from which the operator selects an action to be carried out by positioning the cursor or by depressing the appropriate key
Word Origin
C19: from French menu small, detailed (list), from Latin minūtusminute²
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 menu

1837, from French menu de repas "list of what is served at a meal," from Middle French menu (adj.) "small, detailed" (11c.), from Latin minutus "small," literally "made smaller," past participle of minuere "to diminish," from root of minus "to diminish" (see minus). Computer usage is from 1967, from expanded sense of "any detailed list," first attested 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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menu in Technology
operating system
A list from which the user may select an operation to be performed. This is often done with a mouse or other pointing device under a graphical user interface but may also be controlled from the keyboard.
Menus are very convenient for beginners because they show what commands are available and make experimentating with a new program easy, often reducing the need for user documentation. Experienced users however, often prefer keyboard commands, especially for frequently user operations, because they are faster to use. In situations such as text entry where the keyboard must be used anyway, having to move your hand to the mouse to invoke a menu operation is slow.
There are many different ways of presenting menus but the most common are the menu bar (with pull-down menus) and the context-sensitive menu.
The term "menu" tends to be reserved for a list of actions or global options, whereas a "list box" or other graphical widget might present any kind of choice.
See also menuitis.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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