Dictionary.com

speculum

[ spek-yuh-luhm ]
/ ˈspɛk yə ləm /
Save This Word!

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.
QUIZ
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

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

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
FEEDBACK