Definitions for meniscusmɪˈnɪs kəs; -ˈnɪs aɪ, -ˈnɪs kaɪ, -ki

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word meniscus

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

me•nis•cusmɪˈnɪs kəs; -ˈnɪs aɪ, -ˈnɪs kaɪ, -ki(n.)(pl.)-nis•ci; -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.

    Category: Physics

  3. a concavo-convex or convexo-concave lens.

  4. a wedge of cartilage between the articulating ends of the bones in certain joints.

    Category: Anatomy

Origin of meniscus:

1685–95; < NL < Gk mēnískos crescent, dim. of mḗnē moon

Princeton's WordNet

  1. meniscus, semilunar cartilage(noun)

    (anatomy) a disk of cartilage that serves as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet at a joint

  2. meniscus(noun)

    (optics) a lens that is concave on one side and convex on the other

  3. meniscus(noun)

    (physics) the curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a vertical tube


  1. meniscus(Noun)

    A crescent moon, or an object shaped like it.

  2. meniscus(Noun)

    A lens which is convex on one side and concave on the other, being crescent-shaped in cross-section.

  3. meniscus(Noun)

    The curved surface of liquids in tubes, whether concave or convex, caused by the surface tension of the liquid.

  4. meniscus(Noun)

    Either of two parts of the human knee that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion.

  5. Origin: From μηνίσκος, from μήνη

Webster Dictionary

  1. Meniscus(noun)

    a crescent

  2. Meniscus(noun)

    a lens convex on one side and concave on the other

  3. Meniscus(noun)

    an interarticular synovial cartilage or membrane; esp., one of the intervertebral synovial disks in some parts of the vertebral column of birds


  1. Meniscus

    The meniscus is the curve in the upper surface of a liquid close to the surface of the container or another object, caused by surface tension. It can be either convex or concave. A convex meniscus occurs when the molecules have a stronger attraction to each other than to the material of the container. This may be seen between mercury and glass in barometers and thermometers. Conversely, a concave meniscus occurs when the molecules of the liquid attract those of the container's, causing the surface of the liquid to cave downwards. This can be seen in a glass of water. Capillary action acts on concave menisci to pull the liquid up, increasing favorable contact area between liquid and container, and on convex menisci to pull the liquid down, reducing the amount of contact area. This phenomenon is important in transpirational pull in plants. Honey, water, milk etc. have a lower meniscus. When a tube of a narrow bore, often called a capillary tube, is dipped into a liquid and the liquid wets the tube, the liquid surface inside the tube forms a concave meniscus, which is a virtually spherical surface having the same radius, r, as the inside of the tube. The tube experiences a downward force of magnitude 2πrdσ.


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