[ spek-yuh-luhm ]
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noun,plural spec·u·la [spek-yuh-luh], /ˈspɛk yə lə/, spec·u·lums.
  1. a mirror or reflector, especially one of polished metal, as on a reflecting telescope.

  1. Surgery. an instrument for rendering a part accessible to observation, as by enlarging an orifice.

  2. 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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use speculum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for speculum


/ (ˈspɛkjʊləm) /

nounplural -la (-lə) or -lums
  1. a mirror, esp one made of polished metal for use in a telescope, etc

  2. med an instrument for dilating a bodily cavity or passage to permit examination of its interior

  1. a patch of distinctive colour on the wing of a bird, esp in certain ducks

Origin of speculum

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