Definition of stethoscope in US English:



  • A medical instrument for listening to the action of someone's heart or breathing, typically having a small disk-shaped resonator that is placed against the chest, and two tubes connected to earpieces.

    • ‘They commented about my stethoscope and treated me with a respect and position I have not yet earned.’
    • ‘Tools such as stethoscopes should be cleaned regularly with a paper towel, soap and water, or an alcohol wipe.’
    • ‘Your doctor will also listen to the baby's chest with a stethoscope.’
    • ‘I knelt down by Phyllis, took out my stethoscope to establish my medical credentials, and listened knowingly to her chest.’
    • ‘The diagnosis of aortic regurgitation can be made using a stethoscope.’
    • ‘Make sure the earpieces are turned slightly forward on your stethoscope so that the earpieces fit securely in your ears.’
    • ‘One of the main injuries from a blast is air in the lungs which you have to listen to using a stethoscope.’
    • ‘He didn't need a stethoscope to hear my heart clamoring against my ribcage.’
    • ‘Usually a heart murmur is detected by a doctor who's listening to the heart with a stethoscope during a routine exam.’
    • ‘Signs of pulmonary congestion may also be heard though a stethoscope.’
    • ‘That doesn't mean it's serious, but a doctor definitely should put a stethoscope to the chest of any child with a persistent cough.’
    • ‘Every few inches he would tap lightly and then listen with the stethoscope.’
    • ‘How can I joke with the parents of the boy playing with my stethoscope that maybe he'll be a doctor, when he won't receive a decent education?’
    • ‘I straightened up and pulled the stethoscope from my neck.’
    • ‘Pressing his stethoscope to her chest the father concludes that the girl has a heart defect and proceeds to wall her off from the external world.’
    • ‘For example, the doctor may listen to the patient's chest with a stethoscope, to determine how well the airways are working.’
    • ‘Just give me a stethoscope and show me the way to the nearest ward!’
    • ‘A stethoscope and blood pressure cuff served as the primary monitoring tools.’
    • ‘They have no ears to listen through the stethoscope, and no hands to hold the knife.’
    • ‘In 1816, the forerunner of the modern stethoscope came to be discovered in France.’


Early 19th century: from French stéthoscope, from Greek stēthos ‘breast’ + skopein ‘look at’.