Definition of meniscus in English:


Syllabification: me·nis·cus
Pronunciation: /məˈniskəs

noun (plural menisci /-kē, -kī/ or meniscuses)

  • 1The curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube.
    More example sentences
    • The curve of the meniscus between the fluids can be altered with currents sent through the tube, which changes the focus of the lens.
    • When the water column is cut, the pressure of the water column is increased to atmospheric pressure when the meniscus is flat.
    • I recall spending lengthy moments reading the meniscus on a thermometer to determine the precise temperature reading in an experiment.
  • 1.1 [usually as modifier] Optics A lens that is convex on one side and concave on the other.
    More example sentences
    • Petzval produced an achromatic portrait lens that was vastly superior to the simple meniscus lens then in use.
    • Invented in 1876, the Mangin mirror consists of a meniscus negative lens with a mirrored convex second surface.
    • It's the same with lenses; in addition, the self-centering problem is even more pronounced for meniscus shapes and other optics with long focal lengths.
  • 1.2 Anatomy A thin fibrous cartilage between the surfaces of some joints, e.g., the knee.
    More example sentences
    • In January 1992, arthrography was done of the left knee, which showed according to Dr. Bernard Parent no sign of any tearing of the meniscus.
    • Within a week of having 85 per cent of his meniscus removed, he was running, and three days later he was back playing for the Swans.
    • He had a torn meniscus, which is the same thing, it's a torn muscle.


late 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek mēniskos 'crescent', diminutive of mēnē 'moon'.

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