the innermost, stirrup-shaped bone of a chain of three small bones in the middle ear of humans and other mammals, involved in the conduction of sound vibrations to the inner ear.Also called stirrup.Compare incus(def 1), malleus.
Origin of stapes
1660–70; < New Latinstapēs,Medieval Latin: stirrup, perhaps etymologizing alteration of Italianstaffa stirrup (< Germanic) by association with Latinstāre to stand, and pēs, stem ped-foot
Related formssta·pe·di·al[stuh-pee-dee-uh l]/stəˈpi di əl/, adjective
"stirrup bone in the middle ear," 1660s, from Modern Latin (1560s), special use of Medieval Latin stapes "stirrup," probably an alteration of Late Latin stapia, related to stare "to stand" + pedem, accusative of pes "foot" (see foot). So called because the bone is shaped like a stirrup. This was an invented Medieval Latin word for "stirrup," for which there was no classical Latin word, as the ancients did not use stirrups.