stetho·​scope ˈste-thə-ˌskōp How to pronounce stethoscope (audio)
-t͟hə- How to pronounce stethoscope (audio)
: a medical instrument for detecting sounds produced in the body that are conveyed to the ears of the listener through rubber tubing connected with a piece placed upon the area to be examined
ˌste-thə-ˈskä-pik How to pronounce stethoscope (audio)
 also  -t͟hə-

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web You get asked a bunch of personal questions, a cold stethoscope on your skin, and the doctor draws some blood for standard lab tests. Josh Fischman, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2023 Eko offers a digital stethoscope for real-time heart sound analysis. Kuk Jiang, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023 Once properly positioned, the robot aide positioned a stethoscope to the subject’s chest, which then provided health data to the driver’s computer screen. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 20 Mar. 2023 Every night, the doctor carried a small bag containing basic first-aid gear, a stethoscope, a blood-pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter and ear thermometer. Erika D. Smithcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2023 Even though a majority of people are challenged by a life-degrading neurological or psychiatric illness across a significant span of their lives, there’s no equivalent of a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff or EKG to routinely assess brain health during a visit to the doctor. Michael Merzenich, Scientific American, 7 Dec. 2022 Add a personal touch to their stethoscope with a tiny name tag. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, 29 Mar. 2023 The doctor put down her stethoscope and turned to me. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Five seconds later, the doctor rises to test Ariel’s lungs, brandishing an actual stethoscope. Aaron Reuben, Outside Online, 1 May 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stethoscope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French stéthoscope, from Greek stēthos chest + French -scope

First Known Use

1820, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stethoscope was in 1820

Dictionary Entries Near stethoscope

Cite this Entry

“Stethoscope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


stetho·​scope ˈsteth-ə-ˌskōp How to pronounce stethoscope (audio)
 also  ˈstet͟h-
: a medical instrument used for listening to sounds produced in the body and especially those of the heart and lungs

Medical Definition


ˈsteth-ə-ˌskōp also ˈstet͟h-
: an instrument used to detect and study sounds produced in the body that are conveyed to the ears of the listener through rubber tubing connected with a usually cup-shaped piece placed upon the area to be examined
ˌsteth-ə-ˈskäp-ik also ˌstet͟h-
stethoscopically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on stethoscope

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