desk

\ \ [14] Desk, disc, dish, and dais – strange bedfellows semantically – form a little gang of words going back ultimately, via Latin discus, to Greek dískosquoit’. Desk seems perhaps the least likely descendant of ‘quoit’, but it came about like this: Latin discus was used metaphorically, on the basis of its circular shape, for a ‘tray’ or ‘platter, dish’; and when such a tray was set on legs, it became a table. (German tischtable’ comes directly from Vulgar Latin in this sense.) By the time English acquired it from medieval Latin it seems already to have developed the specialized meaning ‘table for writing or reading on’.
\ \ Cf.DAIS, DISC, DISH

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • desk — /desk/, n. 1. an article of furniture having a broad, usually level, writing surface, as well as drawers or compartments for papers, writing materials, etc. 2. a frame for supporting a book from which the service is read in a church. 3. a pulpit …   Universalium

  • desk — [ dɛsk ] n. m. • mil. XXe; autre sens 1866; mot angl. « bureau, pupitre » ♦ Anglic. Secrétariat de rédaction (d une agence de presse, d un journal, d une chaîne de télévision, d une station de radio). Un desk central. ● desk nom masculin (anglais …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • desk — [ desk ] noun *** 1. ) count a table that you sit at to write or work, often with drawers in it: an oak desk I m usually at my desk by nine o clock in the morning. 2. ) singular a place that provides information or a service, for example in a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • desk — [desk] n. [ME deske < ML desca, a table, ult. < L discus: see DISCUS] 1. a piece of furniture equipped with drawers, compartments, etc., and a flat or sloping top for writing, drawing, or reading 2. a lectern 3. a) the post of a clerk,… …   English World dictionary

  • desk — W2S2 [desk] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Medieval Latin; Origin: desca, from Latin discus dish, disk ] 1.) a piece of furniture like a table, usually with drawers in it, that you sit at to write and work ▪ Marie was sitting at her desk. 2.) a place… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • desk — /desk/ noun 1. a writing table in an office, usually with drawers for stationery ● a desk diary ● a desk drawer ● a desk light ♦ a three drawer desk desk with three drawers 2. a section of a newspaper …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • desk — /dɛsk / (say desk) noun 1. a table specially adapted for convenience in writing or reading, sometimes made with a sloping top, and generally fitted with drawers and compartments. 2. a. (in an orchestra) a music stand shared by two players. b. the …   Australian English dictionary

  • desk — /desk/ noun a writing table in an office, usually with drawers for stationery ● a desk diary ● a desk drawer ● a desk light …   Marketing dictionary in english

  • Desk — Desk, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Desked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Desking}.] To shut up, as in a desk; to treasure. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • desk — dȅsk m <N mn dèskovi> DEFINICIJA 1. publ. prostor u uredništvu ili dio uredništva u kojem se pregledaju i obrađuju za objavljivanje prispjele vijesti i drugi tekstovi [radi u desku] 2. posebni ured, ob. pri vladi zadužen za komunikaciju s… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • desk — /desk/ noun (C) 1 a piece of furniture like a table, usually with drawers in it, that you sit at to write and work 2 a place where you can get information in a hotel, airport etc: the check in desk 3 an office that deals with a particular subject …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.