from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A mirror or polished metal plate used as a reflector in optical instruments.
- n. An instrument for dilating the opening of a body cavity for medical examination.
- n. Zoology A bright, often iridescent patch of color on the wings of certain birds, especially ducks.
- n. Zoology A transparent spot in the wings of some butterflies or moths.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A medical instrument used during an examination to dilate an orifice.
- n. A mirror.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A mirror, or looking-glass; especially, a metal mirror, as in Greek and Roman archæology.
- n. A reflector of polished metal, especially one used in reflecting telescopes. See Speculum metal, below.
- n. An instrument for dilating certain passages of the body, and throwing light within them, thus facilitating examination or surgical operations.
- n. A bright and lustrous patch of color found on the wings of ducks and some other birds. It is usually situated on the distal portions of the secondary quills, and is much more brilliant in the adult male than in the female.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Something to look into or from; specifically, a mirror or looking-glass.
- n. An attachment to or part of an optical instrument, as a reflecting telescope, having a brightly polished surface for the reflection of objects.
- n. In ornithology:
- n. An ocellus or eye-spot, as of a peacock's tail. See ocellus, 4.
- n. The mirror of a wing, a specially colored area on some of the flight-feathers.
- n. In anatomy, the septum lucidum of the brain. See cut under corpus.
- n. In medicine and surgery, an instrument used for rendering a part accessible to observation, especially by opening or enlarging an orifice.
- n. A lookout; a place to spy from.
- n. In astrology, a table exhibiting at one view the latitudes, destinations, semi-arcs, etc., of the planets in a nativity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a mirror (especially one made of polished metal) for use in an optical instrument
- n. a medical instrument for dilating a bodily passage or cavity in order to examine the interior
Middle English, surgical speculum, from Latin, mirror, from specere, to look at; see spek- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin speculum ("mirror"), diminutive form from root spec-, to look at + diminutive suffix -ulum. (Wiktionary)