January 02, 2013
meniscus (noun)
\muh-NISS-kus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: the curved upper surface of a column of liquid
How do you use it?
Our science teacher showed us how the meniscus in a test tube changes from concave to convex according to whether or not the walls of the test tube are wet.
Are you a word wiz?

"Meniscus" comes from the Greek word "meniskos," which is the diminutive form of the Greek word "mene." What do you think "mene" means?

The Greek word "mene" means "moon" or "crescent," and the road from "mene" to "meniscus" is pretty clear. The curved surface that we call a "meniscus" is shaped like a small crescent moon, whether it's got the curved side facing up or down. "Mene"" isn't the source of many English words. In fact, the only other commonly used word to come from it is "moon" itself.
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