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[stey-peez] /ˈsteɪ piz/
noun, plural stapes, stapedes
[stuh-pee-deez] /stəˈpi diz/ (Show IPA).
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 Latin stapēs, Medieval Latin: stirrup, perhaps etymologizing alteration of Italian staffa stirrup (< Germanic) by association with Latin stāre to stand, and pēs, stem ped- foot
Related forms
[stuh-pee-dee-uh l] /stəˈpi di əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for stapes


noun (pl) stapes, stapedes (stæˈpiːdiːz)
the stirrup-shaped bone that is the innermost of three small bones in the middle ear of mammals Nontechnical name stirrup bone Compare incus, malleus
Derived Forms
stapedial (stæˈpiːdɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via New Latin from Medieval Latin, perhaps a variant of staffa, stapeda stirrup, influenced in form by Latin stāre to stand + pēs a foot
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 stapes

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stapes in Medicine

stapes sta·pes (stā'pēz)
n. pl. stapes or sta·pe·des (stā'pĭ-dēz')
The smallest of the three auditory ossicles, whose base fits into the oval window and whose head is articulated with the lenticular process of the long limb of the incus. Also called stirrup.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stapes in Science
Plural stapes or stapedes (stā'pĭ-dēz')
The roughly stirrup-shaped bone that is the innermost of the three small bones (ossicles) of the middle ear.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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