\ ˈdesk How to pronounce desk (audio) \

Definition of desk

1a : a table, frame, or case with a sloping or horizontal surface especially for writing and reading and often with drawers, compartments, and pigeonholes
b : a reading table or lectern from which a liturgical service is read
c : a table, counter, stand, or booth at which a person works
2a : a division of an organization specializing in a particular phase of activity the Russian desk in the Department of State
b : a seating position according to rank in an orchestra a first-desk violinist

Examples of desk in a Sentence

an information desk at an airport We will ask for directions to the restaurant at the front desk. We went to the reception desk to check into our room.
Recent Examples on the Web Majority Whip James Clyburn explains his reticence WASHINGTON – The most sweeping gun safety legislation in 30 years has a viable path from the Senate to the president's desk, but it's being challenged. Candy Woodall, USA TODAY, 14 June 2022 Republican lawmakers sent it to DeWine’s desk earlier this month over objections from Democrats. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 13 June 2022 Dutchess prepared briefing materials that helped propel Kimoto’s case to Donald Trump’s desk. Elizabeth Macbride, Forbes, 4 June 2022 After gaining approval in both chambers, the bill now heads to Gov. Mike Parson's desk. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 If approved, the legislation would go to McKee’s desk. Globe Staff,, 13 May 2022 Each chamber must vote on its opposite’s bills before heading to the governor’s desk, but votes are not expected until later in the session. Seamus Mcavoy, Hartford Courant, 28 Apr. 2022 With the House of Delegates in Republican hands and the state Senate under Democrats’ control, all of the legislation that made it to Youngkin’s desk had bipartisan buy-in. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 What’s next: The bill will be sent to DeSantis’ desk for a signature. Jon Passantino, CNN, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of desk

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for desk

Middle English deske, dext "reading desk, lectern," borrowed from Medieval Latin descus, desca, variant of discus "raised table, platform," going back to Latin, "discus, kind of plate, gong," borrowed from Greek dískos "discus," in Late Greek also "dish, round mirror, the sun's disk, gong" — more at discus

Note: The e in the British Medieval Latin forms (and subsequent borrowing into Middle English) appears to show influence of the Romance outcome of discus, for which see the note at dish entry 1. The sense "reading desk," presumably originating in monastic usage, is not limited to Britain—compare discus in Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch, which records the meaning in central Europe.

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Time Traveler for desk

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The first known use of desk was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Desk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for desk


\ ˈdesk How to pronounce desk (audio) \

Kids Definition of desk

1 : a piece of furniture with a flat or sloping surface for use in writing or reading
2 : a counter at which a person works especially to help customers

More from Merriam-Webster on desk

Nglish: Translation of desk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of desk for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about desk


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