noun, plural styli [stahy-lahy] , styluses.
an instrument of metal, bone, or the like, used by the ancients for writing on waxed tablets, having one end pointed for incising the letters and the other end blunt for rubbing out writing and smoothing the tablet.
any of various pointed, pen-shaped instruments used in drawing, artwork, etc.
Computers. a pen-shaped device used on a display screen to input commands or handwritten text or drawings. Compare joystick ( def 2 ), mouse ( def 4 ).
Also called cutting stylus. a needle used for cutting grooves in making a disk recording to be played on a phonograph.
a needle for reproducing the sounds of a phonograph record.
any of various pointed wedges used to punch holes in paper or other material, as in writing Braille.
any of various kinds of pens for tracing a line automatically, as on a recording seismograph or electrocardiograph.
Also, style (for defs 1, 2).

1720–30; < Latin: spelling variant of stilus stake, pointed writing instrument; spelling with -y- from fancied derivation < Greek stŷlos column Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stylus (ˈstaɪləs)
n , pl -li, -luses
1.  Also called: style a pointed instrument for engraving, drawing, or writing
2.  a tool used in ancient times for writing on wax tablets, which was pointed at one end and blunt at the other for erasing mistakes
3.  a device attached to the cartridge in the pick-up arm of a record player that rests in the groove in the record, transmitting the vibrations to the sensing device in the cartridge. It consists of or is tipped with a hard material, such as diamond or sapphire
[C18: from Latin, variant of stilus writing implement; see style]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1728, "stem-like part of a flower pistil," alteration of L. stilus "stake, stylus;" spelling influenced by Gk. stylos "pillar" (see stet). Meaning "instrument for writing" is from 1807.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stylus sty·lus (stī'ləs)
n. pl. sty·lus·es or sty·li (-lī)

  1. A pencil-shaped structure.

  2. A pencil-shaped medicinal preparation for external application; as a medicated bougie.

  3. See stylet.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The app allows users to create their own digital flipbooks by drawing the
  images using the stylus.
On the blank canvas, simply tap the pencil icon, use your fingertip or stylus
  pen to print on the screen.
Press down on the leak with the stylus to prevent further damage.
Players take pictures of people or anything else, then watch them pop out of
  holes before bopping them with the stylus.
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