What word does your mother always say?


[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
  • She sees the lady of the house every morning, and submits menus for the day.
  • Let's stay content with the list of ingredients on food pack labels or restaurant menus.
  • Tapping the screen brings up command menus when desired.
  • There are healthy items on the menus in virtually every fast food restaurant.
  • We looked at menus scribbled on round wooden paddles.
  • Some even look at old restaurant menus to learn when certain seafood became more costly, usually due to scarcity.
  • Enter the snapdragon: not popular on menus, but great at producing flavonoids.
  • Their cheese has won awards and made it to the menus of some pretty prestigious restaurants.
  • Insects appear regularly on menus in many parts of the world.
  • Sub-menus aren't working yet, but we'll get to that.
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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