[mi-nis-kuh s]
noun, plural me·nis·ci [mi-nis-ahy, -nis-kahy, -kee] /mɪˈnɪs aɪ, -ˈnɪs kaɪ, -ki/, me·nis·cus·es.
  1. a crescent or a crescent-shaped body.
  2. the convex or concave upper surface of a column of liquid, the curvature of which is caused by surface tension.
  3. Optics. a lens with a crescent-shaped section; a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens.
  4. Anatomy. a disk of cartilage between the articulating ends of the bones in a joint.

Origin of meniscus

1685–95; < New Latin < Greek mēnískos crescent, diminutive of mḗnē moon
Related formsme·nis·coid [mi-nis-koid] /mɪˈnɪs kɔɪd/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for menisci

Historical Examples of menisci

British Dictionary definitions for menisci


noun plural -nisci (-ˈnɪsaɪ) or -niscuses
  1. the curved upper surface of a liquid standing in a tube, produced by the surface tension
  2. a crescent or half-moon-shaped body or design
  3. a crescent-shaped fibrous cartilage between the bones at certain joints, esp at the knee
  4. a crescent-shaped lens; a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens
Derived Formsmeniscoid, adjective

Word Origin for meniscus

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

Word Origin and History for menisci



"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

menisci in Medicine


n. pl. me•nis•cus•es
  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.
Related formsme•niscal (-kəl) null null null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

menisci in Science


Plural menisci (mə-nĭsī, -kī, -kē) 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.