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

Contemporary Examples of stethoscope

Historical Examples of stethoscope

  • He went through the locker room and got his stethoscope on the way to Ward Five.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman

  • He touched the patient's wrist, then put a stethoscope to his chest.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman

  • A plainclothesman put a stethoscope on the questionable case.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • Without a word he got out his stethoscope and began to listen to me.

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

  • Then, taking out his stethoscope, he made a rapid examination of his patient.

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

British Dictionary definitions for stethoscope



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

stethoscope in Medicine




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.

stethoscope in Culture



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.