Definition of stylus in English:

stylus

noun

  • 1A hard point, typically of diamond or sapphire, following a groove in a phonograph record and transmitting the recorded sound for reproduction.

    • ‘I also still have every one of the 14 diamond styli that it ever used.’
    1. 1.1 A pointed device formerly used to produce a groove in a record when recording sound.
      • ‘All his recordings were made using the ‘acoustic method’ - singing in front of a large horn, connected to a recording diaphragm and cutting stylus, which cut a groove in a rotating wax disc.’
      • ‘During this period all the energy available to drive the stylus which etched out the recorded wave-forms was ‘acoustic energy’: that is, it came from the sound waves themselves.’
      • ‘Executed in the same flat, almost naïve style, the stylus emerges from the right hand side almost threateningly, bearing down on the record.’
      • ‘Another stylus was used to play back the recording turning the indentations on the cylinder into sound.’
  • 2An ancient writing implement, consisting of a small rod with a pointed end for scratching letters on wax-covered tablets, and a blunt end for obliterating them.

    • ‘Using a reed stylus, they made wedge-shaped impressions on wet clay tablets which were then baked in the sun.’
    • ‘It is said to have developed originally as a means of writing with a stylus on palm leaves, which would split if incised with a straight line.’
    • ‘The next significant development began around 3,100 B.C. when a pointed stylus was used to incise pictures of tokens in clay tablets instead of impressing the tokens themselves.’
    • ‘A metal stylus was used for scratching characters onto a wax tablet.’
    • ‘For writing, they used a stylus and a wax tablet.’
    • ‘The symbols were pressed into soft clay tablets with the slanted edge of a stylus and so had a wedge-shaped appearance (and hence the name cuneiform).’
    • ‘He seized his stylus and scratched twenty coppers from the total on his tablet.’
    • ‘The small number of numerical symbols was, to a large extent, controlled by the method of writing numbers using a blunt stylus with a circular section to impress marks on wet clay.’
    • ‘Writing first on heavy clay with fragile reed styluses led the Sumerians to simplify their drawings.’
    • ‘In the thirteenth-century Roman de la Rose, for example, Genius encourages men to propagate the species by using their styluses to write on the tablets that Nature has prepared for them.’
    1. 2.1 An implement with a pointed end used especially for engraving and tracing.
    2. 2.2Computing A penlike device used to input handwritten text or drawings directly into a computer or for input on a touch-sensitive monitor.
      • ‘It is a digital canvas which can be used with a mouse but really comes into its own when used with a pressure sensitive tablet and stylus.’
      • ‘A stylus is a pen that comes with a drawing pad, which is connected to the computer.’
      • ‘The server software also records hand movements through wind changes directly above the tablet when the stylus is not touching it.’
      • ‘Similar to a pen in shape, the stylus is a long accessory used to enter data into the programmer's LCD.’
      • ‘He used the palm pilot as his tablet, but his stylus was a plastic space-age contemporary version of the traditional reed pen.’

Origin

Early 18th century (as a modern Latin term in botany: see style): erroneous spelling of Latin stilus.

Pronunciation:

stylus

/ˈstīləs/