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[ster-ee-oh, steer-] /ˈstɛr iˌoʊ, ˈstɪər-/
noun, plural stereos.
stereoscopic photography.
a stereoscopic photograph.
stereophonic sound reproduction.
a system or the equipment for reproducing stereophonic sound.
Printing. stereotype (defs 1, 2).
pertaining to stereophonic sound, stereoscopic photography, etc.
verb (used with object)
Printing. stereotype (def 5).
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-.
< Greek stereós

stereo. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stereo
  • In the living room, they created a built-in display case to showcase art and conceal stereo equipment.
  • We humans have stereo-vision, and a relatively narrow field of view.
  • Another test asked participants to work out the direction of specific sounds embedded within stereo white noise.
  • CD s are still recorded in stereo using only two channels.
  • Your old ability to see in stereo vision has deserted you.
  • Perhaps, a good degree of stereo-typing may have been at work.
  • Later that night, she was awakened by fiercely loud music from the stereo.
  • It was a colored flexi disk of one of the moon landings on a stereo that only existed to play those records.
  • As a stereo type it suffers the same problems other stereo types suffer when applied beyond the scope of probability.
  • Until recently, concert recordings were made in stereo, with only left and right audio channels.
British Dictionary definitions for stereo


/ˈstɛrɪəʊ; ˈstɪər-/
noun (pl) stereos
stereophonic sound: to broadcast in stereo
a stereophonic record player, tape recorder, etc
  1. stereoscopic photography
  2. a stereoscopic photograph
(printing) short for stereotype
Word Origin
C20: shortened form


combining form
indicating three-dimensional quality or solidity: stereoscope
Word Origin
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
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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
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stereo in Medicine

stereo- pref.

  1. Solid; solid body: stereotropism.

  2. Three-dimensional: stereochemistry.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Related Abbreviations for stereo


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for stereo

equipment for sound recording and reproduction that utilizes two or more independent channels of information. Separate microphones are used in recording and separate speakers in reproduction; they are arranged to produce a sense of recording-hall acoustics and of the location of instruments within an orchestra. The effectiveness of stereophonic reproduction was demonstrated as early as 1933. Two-track stereophonic tape for the home became common in the 1950s and the stereophonic phonograph record, with two separate channels of information recorded in a single groove, in 1958. In the early 1970s, quadraphonic sound systems, employing four independent channels of information for even greater realism, became commercially available and later led to "surround-sound" systems

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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