Definition of desk in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɛsk/


1A piece of furniture with a flat or sloping surface and typically with drawers, at which one can read, write, or do other work: he sat at his desk, reading reports [as modifier]: a desk job
More example sentences
  • His specialty was making caskets and exquisite pieces of household furniture, including walnut desks and mantel pieces.
  • They're worried that they're vulnerable to another attack while officials sit behind desks writing reports.
  • He took out the strap and slammed the belt down on the flat surface of the desk for emphasis.
table, work surface, bureau, writing desk, writing table, roll-top desk, lectern;
British  davenport;
French escritoire, secretaire
2A counter in a hotel, bank, or airport at which a customer may check in or obtain information: the reception desk
More example sentences
  • Having enquired at all car rental information desks at Dublin airport, the answer was alas the same.
  • They laughed and hurried sheepishly downstairs, leaving the key on the reception desk in the hotel lobby.
  • They walked together with me from the reception desk to the security check area.
3 [with modifier] A specified section of a newspaper or broadcasting organization: he landed a job on the sports desk
More example sentences
  • Reuters' global photo desks will move to Singapore, as will its graphics service, currently in Miami.
  • Rumors from the media market suggest that panic is rife at several editorial desks.
  • The sports desk at the paper's office was a quarter of a very large room; here, it's literally one sports desk.
4 Music A position in an orchestra at which two players share a music stand: an extra desk of first and second violins
More example sentences
  • We could hardly keep our faces straight and some of the musicians at the back desks laughed behind their music wholeheartedly.
  • It will be fine if you plan to scratch away in the back desk of the second violins of an amateur orchestra.
  • Intriguingly enough, you didn't try to make a big name for yourself as a cellist but kept your eye on a conducting career from the cello desk.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin desca, probably based on Provençal desca 'basket' or Italian desco 'table, butcher's block', both based on Latin discus (see discus).

Words that rhyme with desk

arabesque, burlesque, Dantesque, grotesque, humoresque, Junoesque, Kafkaesque, Moresque, picaresque, picturesque, plateresque, Pythonesque, Romanesque, sculpturesque, statuesque

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: desk

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