See more synonyms for disk on Thesaurus.com
  1. any thin, flat, circular plate or object.
  2. any surface that is flat and round, or seemingly so: the disk of the sun.
  3. disc(def 1).
  4. Computers. any of several types of media consisting of thin, round plates of plastic or metal, used for external storage: magnetic disk; floppy disk; optical disk.
  5. Botany, Zoology. any of various roundish, flat structures or parts.
  6. intervertebral disk.
  7. Botany. (in the daisy and other composite plants) the central portion of the flower head, composed of tubular florets.
  8. any of the circular steel blades that form the working part of a disk harrow.
  9. Mathematics. the domain bounded by a circle.
  10. Archaic. discus.
verb (used with object)
  1. Informal. disc(def 3).
  2. to cultivate (soil) with a disk harrow.
Also disc (for defs 1, 2, 4–9, 12).

Origin of disk

1655–65; < Latin discus discus; cf. dish
Related formsdisk·like, adjective
Can be confuseddisc disk


  1. a phonograph record.
  2. disk(defs 1, 2, 4–9).
verb (used with object)
  1. Informal. to make (a recording) on a phonograph disc.
  2. disk(defs 11, 12).
Also disk (for defs 1, 3).

Origin of disc

see origin at disk
Can be confuseddisc disk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for disk

plate, platter, disc, shell, dish, circle, sabot, discus, quoit, flan, saucer, discoid

Examples from the Web for disk

Contemporary Examples of disk

Historical Examples of disk

  • They ascribed it to some change in the magnetism of the iron shell and disk.

  • The world of Weald Three grew brighter and brighter and became a disk.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • In the first was the disk, the symbol of the god; in the second, the god itself.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • The disk had ice-caps and a reasonable proportion of land and water surface.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • It was a disk as big as a dollar with a lot of needles in it.

British Dictionary definitions for disk


  1. a variant spelling (esp US and Canadian) of disc
  2. Also called: magnetic disk, hard disk computing a direct-access storage device consisting of a stack of plates coated with a magnetic layer, the whole assembly rotating rapidly as a single unit. Each surface has a read-write head that can move radially to read or write data on concentric tracksCompare drum 1 (def. 9) See also floppy disk


now esp US disk

  1. a flat circular plate
  2. something resembling or appearing to resemble thisthe sun's disc
  3. another word for (gramophone) record
  4. anatomy any approximately circular flat structure in the body, esp an intervertebral disc
    1. the flat receptacle of composite flowers, such as the daisy
    2. (as modifier)a disc floret
  5. the middle part of the lip of an orchid
    1. Also called: parking disca marker or device for display in a parked vehicle showing the time of arrival or the latest permitted time of departure or both
    2. (as modifier)a disc zone; disc parking
  6. computing a variant spelling of disk (def. 2)
  1. to work (land) with a disc harrow

Word Origin for disc

C18: from Latin discus, from Greek diskos quoit
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

Word Origin and History for disk

American English preferred spelling, 1660s, "round flat surface," from Latin discus "quoit, discus, disk," from Greek diskos, from dikein "throw," from PIE *dik-skos-, from root *deik- "to show, pronounce solemnly; also in derivatives referring to the directing of words or objects" [Watkins].

Sense of "phonograph disk" is 1888; computing sense is from 1947. Disk jockey first recorded 1941; dee-jay is from 1955; DJ is 1961; video version veejay is 1982. Disk-drive is from 1952.



Latinate spelling preferred in British English for most uses of disk (q.v.). American English tends to use it in the musical recording sense; originally of phonograph records, recently of compact discs. Hence, discophile "enthusiast for gramophone recordings" (1940).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disk in Medicine


  1. A thin, flat, circular object or plate.
  2. lamella


  1. Variant ofdisk
  2. A discus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

disk in Science


disc (dĭsk)
    1. See magnetic disk.
    2. See optical disk.
  1. See intervertebral disk.
  2. The round, flat center, consisting of many disk flowers, found in the inflorescences of many composite plants such as the daisy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.