\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In the alcove beyond the check-in desk, Sanchez and Diaz installed their gurney along a vacant stretch of beige hallway. ProPublica, "Protect Independent Journalism," 9 Apr. 2021 After some trial and error, a service desk was arranged at the front door and the hands-free checkout process went into operation. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Librarian tells pandemic story of San Marcos branch," 8 Apr. 2021 The next day, the phone at the officers’ desk kept ringing. New York Times, "When the Pandemic Came to Sullivan Prison," 6 Apr. 2021 Upon arriving, drop off your things at your private cabin — there are 42 in all — and then visit the check-in desk to sign up for the week's activities. Jacqueline Kehoe, Travel + Leisure, "The 8 Most Beautiful Lodges in America's National Parks," 6 Apr. 2021 Take Meetings Standing Up Our most natural and effective conversations with colleagues used to happen after walking over to someone’s desk, standing in the coffee area or making a presentation. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "How To Have More Natural Conversations On Video Calls: 15 Tips," 6 Apr. 2021 The copy desk was the first to go, according to an insider at the Times who asked for anonymity to speak freely. NBC News, "In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void," 5 Apr. 2021 The desk was filled with pictures and letters and other scraps. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, "Separation," 5 Apr. 2021 Those differences must be reconciled before the legislature adjourns Monday for the measure to be sent to Hogan’s desk. Washington Post, "Two long-sought bills that would change parole for inmates advance in Maryland," 5 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of desk

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

History and Etymology for desk

Middle English deske, from Medieval Latin desca, modification of Old Italian desco table, from Latin discus dish, disc — more at dish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about desk

Time Traveler for desk

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for desk

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Desk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for desk



English Language Learners Definition of desk

: a piece of furniture that is like a table and often has drawers
: a place where people can get information or be served at an office, a hotel, etc.
: the part of a company or organization that deals with a particular subject


\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on desk

What made you want to look up desk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!