A context menu is a pop-up menu whose content depends on the context in which it is invoked.
For example, right-clicking a single selected word in a word processor might cause a pop-up context menu to appear that includes operations that are appropriate to apply to a word. Right-clicking on a complete paragraph that has been selected might show paragraph-specific operations. Right-clicking in a document might show a completely different set of options in the pop-up context menu.
In each case, the context surrounding where and when the click happens is used by the software to determine what the menu should contain.
Context menus are often called “pop-up” menus, because they appear at the location the mouse is clicked or right-clicked, rather than being attached to a menu bar.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2009)
A context menu (also called contextual, shortcut, and pop up or pop-up menu) is a menu in a graphical user interface (GUI) that appears upon user interaction, such as a right-click mouse operation. A context menu offers a limited set of choices that are available in the current state, or context, of the operating system or application to which the menu belongs. Usually the available choices are actions related to the selected object. From a technical point of view, such a context menu is a graphical control element.