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.

1810–20; stetho- + -scope

stethoscoped, adjective
stethoscopist [ste-thos-kuh-pist] , noun
stethoscopy [ste-thos-kuh-pee, steth-uh-skoh-] , noun
unstethoscoped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stethoscope (ˈstɛθəˌskəʊp)
1.  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
2.  Also called: obstetric stethoscope a narrow cylinder expanded at both ends to recieve and transmit fetal sounds
[C19: from French, from Greek stēthos breast + -scope]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1820, from Fr. stéthoscope, coined 1819 by its inventor, Fr. physician René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826) from Gk. stethos "chest, breast" + -scope. Gk. 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 Mod.Gk. it became the preferred polite term.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stethoscope steth·o·scope (stěth'ə-skōp')
Any of various instruments used for listening to sounds produced within the body.

steth'o·scop'ic (-skŏp'ĭk) or steth'o·scop'i·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
steth'o·scop'i·cal·ly adv.
ste·thos'co·py (stě-thŏs'kə-pē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


medical instrument used in listening to sounds produced within the body, chiefly in the heart or lungs. It was invented by the French physician R.T.H. Laennec, who in 1819 described the use of a perforated wooden cylinder to transmit sounds from the patient's chest (Greek: stethos) to the physician's ear. This monaural stethoscope was modified to more convenient forms, but it has been largely supplanted by the binaural type with two flexible rubber tubes attaching the chest piece to spring-connected metal tubes with earpieces. In listening to heart sounds, in particular, it is necessary to use both a bell-shaped, open-ended chest piece, which transmits low-pitched sounds well, and the flat chest piece covered with a semirigid disk (diaphragm type) that detects sounds of higher frequency. Instruments having both types of chest piece, arranged so that they can be rapidly interchanged by turning a valve, are widely used.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
IF any one tool could be declared the symbol of the medical profession, it
  would surely be the stethoscope.
The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs.
The look clearly isn't happening without a stethoscope.
The doctor may hear an abnormal sound called a bruit when placing a stethoscope
  over the neck arteries.
Images for stethoscope
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