[ steth-uh-skohp ]
/ ˈstɛθ əˌskoʊp /

noun Medicine/Medical.

an instrument used in auscultation to convey sounds in the chest or other parts of the body to the ear of the examiner.

Origin of stethoscope

First recorded in 1810–20; stetho- + -scope
Related formssteth·o·scoped, adjectiveste·thos·co·pist [ste-thos-kuh-pist] /stɛˈθɒs kə pɪst/, nounste·thos·co·py [ste-thos-kuh-pee, steth-uh-skoh-] /stɛˈθɒs kə pi, ˈstɛθ əˌskoʊ-/, nounun·steth·o·scoped, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stethoscope

British Dictionary definitions for stethoscope


/ (ˈstɛθəˌskəʊp) /


med an instrument for listening to the sounds made within the body, typically consisting of a hollow disc that transmits the sound through hollow tubes to earpieces
Also called: obstetric stethoscope a narrow cylinder expanded at both ends to recieve and transmit fetal sounds
Derived Formsstethoscopic (ˌstɛθəˈskɒpɪk), adjectivestethoscopy (stɛˈθɒskəpɪ), noun

Word Origin for stethoscope

C19: from French, from Greek stēthos breast + -scope
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 stethoscope



1820, from French stéthoscope, coined 1819 by its inventor, French physician René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826) from Greek stethos "chest, breast" + -scope. Greek stethos is perhaps related to sternon (see sternum); it meant "front of the chest," and was only rarely used of a woman's breasts, but in Modern Greek it became the preferred polite term.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for stethoscope


[ stĕthə-skōp′ ]


Any of various instruments used for listening to sounds produced within the body.
Related formssteth′o•scopic (-skŏpĭk) adj.ste•thosco•py (stĕ-thŏskə-pē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for stethoscope


[ (steth-uh-skohp) ]

An instrument used in listening to internal body sounds. Most familiarly, physicians and nurses use it to listen to heart sounds.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.