Definition of disc in English:


(US 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’
    • ‘She typed them into a curious looking device, walked over to a huge machine that covered the whole face of the far wall, and inserted the flat disc into a slot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The bottle is capped with a two-piece closure, consisting of a metal disk with a plastic rim designed to protect the product without the addition of a liner.’
    • ‘She strikes a shining coin with a swift hammer blow, then holds up the glinting disc of metal.’
    • ‘But the very popularity of these inexpensive five-inch diameter discs made of metal, plastic and dye is taking a serious toll on the waste stream.’
    • ‘The symphonium musical box, initially produced in Leipzig in the 1880s, anticipated the record player by using metal discs instead of the cylinder.’
    • ‘Exchanging them for tokens, she hurried back and pressed a metal disc into my palm, closing my fingers around it as though it were precious.’
    • ‘But she was wearing an identity disc with my name and telephone number on it.’
    • ‘The first successful method for making clear, flat glass involved spinning a round disc of glass.’
    • ‘Because the disc was made of metal they were unable to use the most accurate technique, carbon dating.’
    • ‘Each person on the bridge has a metal disc with a number.’
    • ‘The second trial also failed - the root crumbled every time he tried to flatten it into a thin disc for frying.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On entering the cage the banksman gave each of us a metal disc that we would have to return to him at the end of our visit… to ensure none of the party were left underground.’
    • ‘Electrons pass through a thin disk, and are multiplied, these electrons bounce off a phosphor screen which converts them back to light.’
    • ‘The invitation to last year's awards ceremony was a circular disk resembling a pie chart delivered in a metal box.’
    • ‘The hard ones, which are also called rigid contact lenses, are thin disks made of hard plastic.’
    • ‘The shape of the tablet, a thick flat circular disc, is unusual here.’
    • ‘Skatestoppers also sells these little metal discs that can be affixed to flat concrete, making a smooth surface bumpy.’
    • ‘Pulling a moment, he finally extracted a pair of flat metallic disks on a thin chain.’
    circle, round, saucer, discus, ring
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An 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).
      • ‘Inodes are data structures, but they are usually stored on a disk and read into memory for reference and modification.’
      • ‘Once inside the warmth of her apartment, she stored the disks in her computer nook, locked the door and hung up her coat before checking her messages.’
      • ‘As long as the virus is active on the computer, it can copy itself to other files or disks that are accessed.’
      • ‘Investigators seized computers and disks from his home, which he shares with his parents.’
      • ‘Lower priority data is stored deeper and deeper on the disk where data access rates are slower.’
      • ‘The data-replication option enables data stored on the local disks of one system to be mirrored to another system.’
      • ‘Additionally, the original CD-ROM disks can be stored away where they won't get lost.’
      • ‘Contractors should back up their computer data weekly; any backup disks should be stored off-site in a secure location.’
      • ‘If you decide to use floppy disks, which is the cheapest but most haphazard method of backing up information, rotate the disks on a regular basis.’
      • ‘The future for the mobile device market is likely to require small diameter disks storing much information.’
      • ‘Much like a cache, the buffer is a data area between the requests being sent to the hard disk, and the data stored on the disk itself.’
      • ‘These paradigms combine the data longevity of tape with the fast, random access of disks.’
      • ‘Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised’
      • ‘An exact image of your server disks stored on a remote network or a removable drive will provide you with the fastest bare-metal restore possible.’
      • ‘With redundant data stored across multiple disks built into every pack, even if one disk is damaged beyond repair, the entire data set can still be rebuilt.’
      • ‘Secondly, there is less data to travel through disks into computer memory and then to tape devices.’
      • ‘While computer hard and floppy drives and the disks they store data on are based on the physics of magnetism, optical drives and their discs are based on the physics of light, or optics.’
      • ‘When I tried it in several different computers, the disk was not even recognized by the different CD-ROM drives.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A CD or record.
      • ‘That said, these discs are packed with great songs.’
      • ‘Both discs are packed to the rafters with music and as such deserve nothing less than a wholehearted recommendation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The disc has a much more edgy, electronic sound that doesn't go over-the-top, but it does mix in elements that haven't existed on any of the band's previous discs.’
      • ‘Their Mendelssohn discs also include a recording of the Octet.’
      • ‘Don't get me wrong, there are excellent discs packed with time capsules and great music.’
      • ‘Too bad the bands on the disc couldn't have been as creative with their music as with the CD.’
      • ‘Great care has been taken with both discs in the order of appearance, track by track, as each experiment seems to fade nicely into the other.’
      • ‘These three songs appeared on the bonus disc that was added to the boxed set.’
      • ‘This disc marks the first appearance of material written under the wing of the record company.’
      • ‘And that is what makes the appearance of the new Stones discs so important.’
      • ‘The 24 episodes from the program's sixth season appear on five discs.’
      • ‘Moving on to the discs, it appears that this third season is the third release with a significant problem.’
      • ‘Most self-titled discs come when a band first appears on the music scene, kind of like a blank slate for the band to build a name on.’
      • ‘Tribute discs appear at various stages in a performing artist's career.’
      • ‘The six discs are packed into three slip cases that all fit nicely into the cardboard box.’
      • ‘The songs of peace on these two discs are packed with some of the top artists that Canada and Britain have to offer.’
      • ‘He has recorded two discs of Schubert's piano music and the Charlton recital is given in preparation of a third.’
      • ‘Where the first disc paints a picture of a band at the top of their game, the second disc depicts a band trying to justify its continued existence.’
      record, album, lp, gramophone record, vinyl
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3One of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to coins in others.
      • ‘Take the 3 of Disks as a largely positive card, which shows that hard work and concentration can eventually gain you your highest objectives.’
      • ‘The name of each suit is printed at the bottom of pips and court cards (Queen of Discs, Four of Staves).’
      • ‘The man represented by the Prince of Disks is a quiet and meditative man, who works with unfailing determination towards the goals he sets himself.’
      • ‘Discs (or Pentacles) are the pragmatic suit. Sometimes people see them as plodding and a bit slow, but this is unjust.’
      • ‘The Suit of "Pentacles" is also known by other names, such as "Coins", "Discs" or "Disks".’
  • 2An object or part resembling a disc in shape or appearance.

    ‘the smudged yellow disc of the moon’
    • ‘Since the cloud was rotating, its spherical shape flattened into a disc.’
    • ‘The sun was only six degrees high in the south and was shining on the unusually short contrail giving the appearance of a shiny disc.’
    • ‘Great Horned Owls are large, powerful owls with prominent ear-tufts, prominent facial disks, and bold yellow eyes.’
    • ‘There was no contrail and the disc appeared to be at an altitude of 20 to 25 thousand feet.’
    • ‘As he stared at the bright, off-white disk, though, he was distracted by some small flashes of light, which started appearing just below the disk of the moon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A graphic appeared on the screen next to the newswoman that was shaped like a flying disc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At dawn, the moon will be as far away from the sun as its orbit will carry it and as a result will appear out to the North Sea as a dark disc surrounded by a vibrant ring of fire.’
    • ‘Then at the far end of the rings a glowing disc appeared in the first one.’
    • ‘As the lunar disk cleared the horizon, it appeared that a chunk had been taken out of its bottom.’
    • ‘On the left, the mouth of a megaphonelike shape contains concentric blue lines punctuated by small yellow disks.’
    • ‘The sword was spinning so fast that you could only see a green disc shape.’
    • ‘Venus will appear as a small disc moving across the sun between 10.45 a.m. and 4.51 p.m.’
    • ‘But the outer boundaries of the disks orbiting the younger stars I mentioned are as much as twenty times farther away from their central stars.’
    • ‘A huge disc appeared to be rising from the south over the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘The Sun is many times larger than the Earth, but distance makes it appear like a small disc.’
    • ‘The disc glowed yellow and filled the room with plentiful light.’
    • ‘Appearing as a black disc 30 times smaller than the sun's diameter, it will slowly move from left to right over the course of six hours.’
    ring, round, band, hoop, circlet
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    1. 2.1A layer of cartilage separating adjacent vertebrae in the spine.
      ‘he suffered a prolapsed disc’
      • ‘This structure of vertebrae and discs is supported along its length by muscles and ligaments.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even when you're just standing, the vertical alignment of your spinal column causes compressive forces on the rubbery disks that separate your vertebrae.’
      • ‘Towards the ends of the long bones there are specialized discs of cartilage (epiphyseal plates) stretching across the entire bone.’
      • ‘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. 2.2Botany The central part of the flower of a daisy or other composite plant, consisting of a close-packed cluster of tubular florets.
      • ‘In this study a new experimental technique was used that allowed the measurement of cuticular transpiration of isolated plant cuticles and leaf discs.’
      • ‘Leaf discs from plants expressing aequorin were excised and incubated in thiols as described above.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, many conclusions about growth and respiration are based on measurements of single leaves, leaf disks or mature plant parts.’
      • ‘Root and green leaf discs were arranged centrally on the agar plate.’
      • ‘This assumption is supported by studies in which cysteine was supplied to leaf discs of poplar plants.’


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).