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speculum

[ spek-yuh-luhm ]
/ ˈspɛk yə ləm /
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noun, plural spec·u·la [spek-yuh-luh], /ˈspɛk yə lə/, spec·u·lums.

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.

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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. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for speculum

speculum
/ (ˈspɛkjʊləm) /

noun plural -la (-lə) or -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 for 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

Medical definitions for speculum

speculum
[ spĕkyə-ləm ]

n. pl. spec•u•lums

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