Student Dictionary

2 entries found for menu.
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Main Entry: menu
Pronunciation: primarystressmen-yü, primarystressmamacrn-
Function: noun
Etymology: from French menu "a list of food dishes," from menu (adjective) "small, detailed," from Latin minutus "small" --related to MINUTE
1 : a list of dishes served at or available for a meal; also : a similar list of offerings <a menu of TV programs>
2 : the dishes served at a meal
3 : a list of computer operations shown on the display screen for a user to select from <a menu of printing options>
Word History Many restaurants boast of having large menus, but the origin of the word menu actually suggests the idea of smallness. Menu can be traced to the Latin adjective minutus, meaning "small." Minutus is also the source of our word minute. From minutus came the French adjective menu, which has several meanings including "small" and "detailed." The use of menu as a noun meaning "a list of food" probably came from the "detailed" sense of the adjective, since a menu is most often a detailed list.

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