Definition of disc in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪsk/
(US also disk)


1A flat, thin circular object: coins were made by striking a blank disc of metal a man’s body with an identity disc around the neck
More example sentences
  • The shape of the tablet, a thick flat circular disc, is unusual here.
  • It may also be exchanged for wide variety of items whose purpose currently remain a mystery, although we do know that some of the most popular items are flat shiny discs.
  • This touch-sensitive work consists of a series of horn-like spikes protruding from two circular discs that are hung on a wall like a painting.
circle, round, saucer, discus, ring
1.1 (disk) An information storage device for a computer in the shape of a round flat plate which can be rotated to give access to all parts of the surface. The data may be stored either magnetically (in a magnetic disk) or optically (in an optical disk such as a CD-ROM).
Example sentences
  • They were then told that they could create their own three-dimensional sculptures or structures using our store of computer disks and CD-ROMs.
  • It is now understood that over 1000 documents were taken during the raids, that also included computer disks and other stored digital data.
  • Additionally, the original CD-ROM disks can be stored away where they won't get lost.
1.2A CD or record.
Example sentences
  • Placido Domingo has released more than 100 recital discs, crossover albums and complete operas over his five-decade career.
  • The Munich-based label has made a name for itself with its discs of live recordings, mostly operatic, taken from more than half a century of Salzburg festivals.
  • Their Mendelssohn discs also include a recording of the Octet.
record, album, LP, gramophone record, vinyl;
compact disc, CD
1.3 (discs) One of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to coins in others.
Example sentences
  • The Suit of "Pentacles" is also known by other names, such as "Coins", "Discs" or "Disks".
  • Discs (or Pentacles) are the pragmatic suit. Sometimes people see them as plodding and a bit slow, but this is unjust.
  • The name of each suit is printed at the bottom of pips and court cards (Queen of Discs, Four of Staves).
2An object or part resembling a disc in shape or appearance: the smudged yellow disc of the moon
More example sentences
  • What strikes the human eye is the uniquely singular soaring roof, shaped like a slanted disc, which also appears to be in the form of the rising sun.
  • The Irish milliner, celebrated for his daring designs, has produced a seat large enough for two people in the shape of a large disc with an indentation.
  • The once-in-a-lifetime event takes place when Venus passes through the disc of Sun and appears like a small spot moving slowly across the Sun when viewed from the Earth.
2.1 (also intervertebral disc) A layer of cartilage separating adjacent vertebrae in the spine: he suffered a prolapsed disc
More example sentences
  • Towards the ends of the long bones there are specialized discs of cartilage (epiphyseal plates) stretching across the entire bone.
  • Alternatively the ligaments may become loose, so that the disc of cartilage no longer stays between the jaw bone and the skull when the joint is moved.
  • Vertebral discs cushion the spine, like spongy coasters between each vertebra that protect bones from banging against each other while one is running or jumping.
2.2 Botany The central part of the flower of a daisy or other composite plant, consisting of a close-packed cluster of tubular florets.
Example sentences
  • Leaf discs from plants expressing aequorin were excised and incubated in thiols as described above.
  • This assumption is supported by studies in which cysteine was supplied to leaf discs of poplar plants.
  • Root and green leaf discs were arranged centrally on the agar plate.


Generally speaking, the British spelling is disc and the US spelling is disk, although there is much overlap and variation between the two. In particular, the spelling for senses relating to computers is nearly always disk, as in floppy disk, disk drive, and so on.


Mid 17th century (originally referring to the seemingly flat circular form of the sun or moon): from French disque or Latin discus (see discus).

  • The word disc goes back to Latin discus, which is the source of discus (mid 17th century) and also of dish and Late Middle English desk (discus had come to be used for a stool or table in medieval Latin). Its earliest sense in English was the seemingly flat, round form that the sun, moon, and other celestial objects present to the eye. The anatomical disc, the sort that people ‘slip’, dates from the late 19th century, as does the type that turns on a record player. In the USA the usual spelling is disk, and this is now used everywhere with reference to computers, as in floppy disk and disk drive. See also jockey

Words that rhyme with disc

bisque, brisk, disk, fisc, frisk, risk, whisk

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: disc

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