Definition of stapes in US English:



  • A small stirrup-shaped bone in the middle ear, transmitting vibrations from the incus to the inner ear.

    Also called stirrup
    • ‘There is no ‘tactile sense’, but the benefit is that there is no instrument to obscure the surgeon's view or cause mechanical trauma to the stapes.’
    • ‘Mr Bell removed the stapes, and attached to the end of the incus a style of hay about an inch in length.’
    • ‘Only in mammals are there three ossicles: the maleus, incus, and stapes.’
    • ‘Sound is conducted through the middle ear via the stapes or columella (both are ear ossicles derived from the hyomandibular).’
    • ‘Reptiles have a single ear ossicle, the stapes or stirrup bone.’
    • ‘That bone turned out to be the stapes, which transmitted vibrations to the animal's inner ear.’
    • ‘It has commonly been inferred that the stapes (or ‘stirrup’), a bone in the cheek region of early tetrapods, was important for transmitting airborne vibrations to the inner ear.’
    • ‘Even with these changes, we still have concerns that the position and extent of the stapes is inconsistent between the two views of Ichthyostega.’
    • ‘Urbantschitsch has provided detailed measurements of the malleus, incus and the stapes.’
    • ‘The left stapes is preserved, although not in life position.’
    • ‘Mammals hear sounds after they are transmitted from the outside world to their inner ears by a chain of three bones, the malleus, incus, and stapes.’
    • ‘Remnants of the pectoral girdle are present, perhaps due to the presence of an operculum-opercularis-like connection to the stapes.’
    • ‘They suggested that vibrations pass from the substrate to the jaw, which are juxtaposed, and then pass via the jaw articulation to the incus and stapes.’
    • ‘A perilymph fistula will frequently accompany injuries to the stapes such as subluxation or fracture.’
    • ‘It remains unclear, however, how the stapes related to the quadrate, and possibly to the posterior extension of its mandibular condyle, in Haasiophis.’
    • ‘The stapes has neither a columella nor a stapedial foramen.’
    • ‘The air pressure on either side of the eardrum is normally kept equal for proper functioning of the middle ear structures, namely the malleus, incus and stapes bones.’
    • ‘The remainder underwent Type III tympanoplasty with the tympanic membrane placed directly over the stapes suprastructure.’
    • ‘The left stapes is preserved within the left otic aperture.’
    • ‘This in turn moves the ‘anvil’ which is attached to the stapes.’


Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from medieval Latin stapes ‘stirrup’.