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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 menus
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Historical Examples
  • The menus for colds, catarrh, hay fever, and asthma may be used for influenza.

  • No Merida hotels or restaurants ever attach prices to their menus.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
  • Milk and vegetables can no longer be obtained, and rice has taken the place of the latter upon the menus.

  • All spelling on the monthly menus was retained as printed, for example, "Begetables."

    The Art of Cookery John Mollard
  • Besides being a painter of distinction, he has designed everything, from stained glass to book-covers, from piano-cases to menus.

    Picture Posters Charles Hiatt
British Dictionary definitions for menus


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 menus



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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