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The meniscus (plural: meniscii, from the Greek for " crescent") 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, depending on the liquid and the surface.

A convex meniscus occurs when the particles in the liquid have a stronger attraction to each other ( cohesion) than to the material of the container ( adhesion). Convex menisci occur, for example, between mercury and glass in barometers and thermometers. Conversely, a concave meniscus occurs when the particles of the liquid are more strongly attracted to the container than to each other, causing the liquid to climb the walls of the container. This occurs between water and glass.

Meniscus (anatomy)

In anatomy, a meniscus (from Greek μηνίσκος meniskos, "crescent") is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that, in contrast to an articular disk, only partly divides a joint cavity. In humans they are present in the knee, wrist, acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, and temporomandibular joints; in other animals they may be present in other joints.

Generally, the term 'meniscus' is used to refer to the cartilage of the knee, either to the lateral or medial meniscus. Both are cartilaginous tissues that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. The menisci are also known as "semi-lunar" cartilages — referring to their half-moon, crescent shape.

Meniscus (knee)

Meniscus (disambiguation)

A meniscus is a curve in the upper surface of liquid contained in an object.

Meniscus may also refer to:

  • Meniscus (anatomy), crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that partly divides a joint cavity
  • Meniscus (optics), a type of optical lens


n. 1 A crescent moon, or an object shaped like it. (from 17th c.) 2 (context optics English) A lens which is convex on one side and concave on the other, being crescent-shaped in cross-section. (from 17th c.) 3 The curved surface of liquids in tubes, whether concave or convex, caused by the surface tension of the liquid. (from 19th c.) 4 (context anatomy English) Either of two parts of the human knee that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. (from 19th c.)

The Collaborative International Dictionary


Meniscus \Me*nis"cus\, n.; pl. L. Menisci (-s[=i]), E. Meniscuses. [NL., from Gr. mhni`skos, dim. of mh`nh the moon.]

  1. A crescent.

  2. (Opt.) A lens convex on one side and concave on the other.

  3. (Anat.) An interarticular synovial cartilage or membrane; esp., one of the intervertebral synovial disks in some parts of the vertebral column of birds.

    Converging meniscus, Diverging meniscus. See Lens.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


"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.



  1. n. a disk of cartilage that serves as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet at a point

  2. [also: menisci (pl)]

Usage examples of "meniscus".

Any hard radiation forward of the red-shifted meniscus intersects the nappe of the cone made by the field.

Your meniscus, which is a piece of cartilage in the middle of your knee, not only acts as a shock absorber but also has several other functions.

MRI, and the treatment is similar to that undertaken for a meniscus tear.

Another bonus: Fish oil and fish protein have been shown to regenerate the membrane of the meniscus, which is important if you suffer a painful tear, or have chronic meniscus discomfort.

The meniscus of water rose up beneath it, until the sea bulged a fathom above sea level.

Entwined, they moved to meet the broad concave meniscus of the water surface near the axle of the wheel.

The meniscus roiled, then broke open, causing the ghostly mist to swirl and vanish.

The ceramic switch on the bottom of the tank clicked loudly when Bashir slapped it with his hand, and a rainbow meniscus swept across the tank and its occupant.

House of Nochsyon Tod was a rambling walled compound near the South Cusp of the meniscus that was Lowport.

I imagined I could see thoughts hopping over the rippling meniscus like flies .

Belt to the surface of the star kernel, scraping the rusty meniscus at a few feet per second.

He talked her through the incision, the insertion of the forceps and removal of the little fragment of meniscus , and the trimming of the tear and removal of the piece she had cut off.

Further there is no adherence, meniscus effect, or matting between the threads, also ruling out any type of liquid paint.

His name is Mikio, funny-looking kid, with his heavy cargo of otherness: his light-holding hair, his coated eyeballs and their meniscus of severe understanding.

To anyone else it was something that could be glimpsed, perhaps as an unfeasibly large meniscus of water, but not directly seen.