sty·​lus | \ ˈstī-ləs How to pronounce stylus (audio) \
plural styli\ ˈstī(-​ə)-​ˌlī How to pronounce styli (audio) \ also styluses\ ˈstī-​lə-​səz How to pronounce styluses (audio) \

Definition of stylus

: an instrument for writing, marking, or incising: such as
a : an instrument used by the ancients in writing on clay or waxed tablets
b : a hard-pointed pen-shaped instrument for marking on stencils used in a reproducing machine
(2) : a cutting tool used to produce an original record groove during disc recording
d : a pen-shaped pointing device used for entering data (such as positional information from a graphics tablet) into a computer

Examples of stylus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The screen is sensitive to the tilt and pressure of the plastic stylus, which is comfortable to write with and has no electronics that need charging. Wired, "Digital Note-Takers Let You Store and Share Your Scrawlings," 20 Aug. 2019 The Note 10 is something new: the Note’s stylus and power crammed down into something a little closer to the size of the Galaxy S10. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Samsung Galaxy Note 10 announced: two sizes, new S Pen, and DeX on your laptop," 7 Aug. 2019 The stylus itself has gotten something of a revamp, with a new unibody shell and a slightly more ergonomic design. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ hands-on: A new model changes the game, for better or worse," 7 Aug. 2019 And the Note’s most famous detachable feature, the S-Pen stylus, is evolving. Washington Post, "Galaxy Note10 hands on: What Samsung’s $950 big new phone adds — and takes away," 7 Aug. 2019 Originally, the definition of magnitude related to seismograms, in which machines used an ink stylus to record rapid motions on a rolling drum of paper that would measure shaking. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "Ridgecrest earthquake was intense. Exactly how strong was it?," 4 July 2019 The video shows that the new Tab will once again come with an S Pen stylus, and a keyboard cover will at least be an optional upgrade if not the default. Anna Washenko, Ars Technica, "Samsung to unpack new Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Watch over the next week," 30 July 2019 Looking at Muddy Waters’s Telecaster is like getting to see Sophocles’s stylus. Mark Feeney,, "Guitars, stars, and attitude," 11 July 2019 Just as smartphones started off with plastic resistive displays and stylus input, before the iPhone showed that capacitive touch on glass was the future, this foldable era will include compromises before the technology advances. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The foldable phones are coming," 8 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of stylus

1773, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stylus

Latin stylus, stilus spike, stylus — more at style

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Statistics for stylus

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for stylus

The first known use of stylus was in 1773

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More Definitions for stylus



English Language Learners Definition of stylus

: a very small, pointed piece of metal that touches a record and produces sound when the record is played
: a tool used long ago for writing on clay or wax tablets
: a small tool that is used to write or touch buttons on a computer


sty·​lus | \ ˈstī-ləs How to pronounce stylus (audio) \
plural styli\ -​ˌlī \ also styluses

Kids Definition of stylus

: a pointed instrument used in ancient times for writing on wax tablets


variants: also stilus \ ˈstī-​ləs How to pronounce stilus (audio) \
plural styli\ ˈstī(ə)l-​ˌī How to pronounce styli (audio) \ also styluses\ ˈstī-​lə-​səz How to pronounce styluses (audio) \ or stili or stiluses

Medical Definition of stylus

: an instrument for writing, marking, or incising: as
a : a hard-pointed instrument for punching the dots in writing braille with a braille slate
b : a device that traces a recording (as of an electrocardiograph) on paper

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More from Merriam-Webster on stylus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stylus

Spanish Central: Translation of stylus

Nglish: Translation of stylus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about stylus

Comments on stylus

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


to make a temporary encampment

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