Definition for STETH'O-SCOPE

STETH'O-SCOPE, n. [Gr. στηθος, the breast, and σκοπεω, to examine.]

A simple cylinder of some fine-grained light wood, as cedar or maple, perforated longitudinally in the middle, with one extremity funnel-shaped and furnished with a conical plug; the other with a comparatively large orbicular ivory plate fastened by a screw. This instrument is used for distinguishing sounds within the thorax, and other cavities of the body, the funnel-shaped extremity, either with or without the plug, being placed upon the body, and the ivory plate to the ear of the listener. It is merely a substitute for the direct application of the ear, in cases in which this would be forbidden by delicacy. Stethoscope is an ill chosen term, since its application is not confined to the breast, and the termination scope does not well express its use. Phonophorus or sound-conductor, would be preferable.

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