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[spek-yuh-luh m] /ˈspɛk yə ləm/
noun, plural specula
[spek-yuh-luh] /ˈspɛk yə lə/ (Show IPA),
a mirror or reflector, especially one of polished metal, as on a reflecting telescope.
Surgery. an instrument for rendering a part accessible to observation, as by enlarging an orifice.
Ornithology. a lustrous or specially colored area on the wings of certain birds.
Origin of speculum
1590-1600; < Latin: mirror, equivalent to spec(ere) to look, behold + -ulum instrumental suffix; see -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for specula


noun (pl) -la (-lə), -lums
a mirror, esp one made of polished metal for use in a telescope, etc
(med) an instrument for dilating a bodily cavity or passage to permit examination of its interior
a patch of distinctive colour on the wing of a bird, esp in certain ducks
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: mirror, from specere to look at
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for specula



1590s, from Latin speculum, literally "mirror," from specere "to look at, view" (see scope (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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specula in Medicine

speculum spec·u·lum (spěk'yə-ləm)
n. pl. spec·u·lums or spec·u·la (-lə)

  1. A mirror or polished metal plate that is used as a reflector in optical instruments.

  2. An instrument that is used to dilate the opening of a body cavity for medical examination.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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