speculum

noun
spec·​u·​lum | \ˈspe-kyə-ləm \
plural specula\ˈspe-​kyə-​lə \ also speculums

Definition of speculum 

1 : an instrument inserted into a body passage especially to facilitate visual inspection or medication

2 : a drawing or table showing the relative positions of all the planets (as in an astrological nativity)

3 : a patch of color on the secondaries of most ducks and some other birds

Examples of speculum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The speculum meant not touching with your hand, but with an object. Daniela Blei, The Atlantic, "Women Are Redesigning the Dreaded Speculum," 8 Mar. 2018 While the speculum is inserted, your doctor will use a soft brush or a flat scraping device to take samples for your Pap test and to test for certain STIs. Kristin Canning, SELF, "10 Things to Know Before Your First Gyno Exam," 24 Apr. 2018 For critics in the medical community, the speculum compromised a woman’s morality. Daniela Blei, The Atlantic, "Women Are Redesigning the Dreaded Speculum," 8 Mar. 2018 Sims, who practiced medicine in Alabama from 1835 to 1849 before moving to New York, invented the speculum and other instruments still in use today. The Washington Post, AL.com, "Statue of Alabama surgeon who experimented on slaves vandalized," 29 Aug. 2017 Sims, who practiced medicine in Alabama from 1835 to 1849 before moving to New York, invented the speculum and other instruments still in use today. Alaska Dispatch News, "A surgeon experimented on slave women without giving them anesthesia. Now his statues are under attack.," 29 Aug. 2017 Seated with your legs in stirrups, like during a regular pelvic exam, your doctor will insert a speculum. S. Nicole Lane, SELF, "So You Need a Cervical Biopsy—Here's What That Actually Means," 17 Aug. 2017 This may be the first musical to incorporate into its stage directions the fondling of a medical speculum. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Protest Musical for the Trump Era," 20 Mar. 2017 Once the speculum is in place, your doctor will use a swab to collect some cells from your cervix and send them to the lab. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "Nope, You Probably Don't Need a Pap Smear," 10 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speculum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of speculum

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for speculum

Middle English, from Latin, mirror, from specere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about speculum

Statistics for speculum

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for speculum

The first known use of speculum was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for speculum

speculum

noun
spec·​u·​lum | \ˈspek-yə-ləm \
plural specula\-​lə \ also speculums

Medical Definition of speculum 

: any of various instruments for insertion into a body passage to facilitate visual inspection or medication a vaginal speculum

Comments on speculum

What made you want to look up speculum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!