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menu

menu


men·u  (mny)
n.
1. A list of the dishes to be served or available for a meal.
2. The dishes served or available at a meal.
3. A list of available options, especially as displayed on a screen.

[French, small, minute, menu, from Old French menut, small, from Latin mintus, past participle of minuere, to diminish; see mei-2 in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: An enormous menu might be considered an oxymoron if one were to restrict the word etymologically. Menu can be traced back to the Latin word mintus, meaning small in size, amount, or degree and also possessing or involving minute knowledge. Latin mintus became Old French menut and Modern French menu, small, fine, trifling, minute. The French adjective came to be used as a noun with the sense of detail, details collectively, and detailed list. As such, it was used in the phrase menu de repas, list of items of a meal, which was shortened to menu. This word was borrowed into English, being first recorded in 1837. The French word had been borrowed before, perhaps only briefly, as a shortening of the French phrase menu peuple, the common people. This usage, however, is recorded in only one text, in 1658.


menu  /mnyu/  n. -us 1 a list of foods available in a restaurant: We read the menu and chose an appetizer and a main dish. 2 (in computers) a display of functions or files: I chose a file from the main menu. 3 to be or have on the menu: to have s.t. planned: What do you have on the menu for this weekend? Fishing? Hiking? menu

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