[ster-ee-oh, steer-]

noun, plural ster·e·os.


pertaining to stereophonic sound, stereoscopic photography, etc.

verb (used with object)

Printing. stereotype(def 5).

Origin of stereo

First recorded in 1815–25; by shortening



a combining form borrowed from Greek, where it meant “solid”, used with reference to hardness, solidity, three-dimensionality in the formation of compound words: stereochemistry; stereogram; stereoscope.
Also especially before a vowel, stere-.

Origin of stereo-

From the Greek word stereós Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for stereo

radio, phonograph, hi-fi, gramophone

Examples from the Web for stereo

Contemporary Examples of stereo

Historical Examples of stereo

  • I took Thorndyke's card out of my pocket and looked at the stereo.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • Remember that stereo shot we had taken just before we left Mars?

    Bedside Manner

    William Morrison

  • The stereo house was open, and the little shops were brightly lighted.

    Badge of Infamy

    Lester del Rey

  • I can read your thoughts as though they were flashed on a stereo screen!

    The Space Pioneers

    Carey Rockwell

  • He stood at the bar for nearly half an hour, watching the stereo and waiting.

    Sabotage in Space

    Carey Rockwell

British Dictionary definitions for stereo



noun plural stereos

stereophonic soundto broadcast in stereo
a stereophonic record player, tape recorder, etc
  1. stereoscopic photography
  2. a stereoscopic photograph
printing short for stereotype

Word Origin for stereo

C20: shortened form


sometimes before a vowel stere-

combining form

indicating three-dimensional quality or soliditystereoscope

Word Origin for stereo-

from Greek stereos solid
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

Word Origin and History for stereo

1823 as a shortening of stereotype; 1876 as a shortening of stereoscope; 1954 (adj.) as a shortening of stereophonic; the noun meaning "stereophonic record or tape player" is recorded from 1964.


word-forming element, before vowels stere-, from comb. form of Greek stereos "solid" (see stereotype).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stereo in Medicine



Solid; solid body:stereotropism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.