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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Stylet \Sty"let\, n. [F., dim. of style; cf. It. stiletto. See Stiletto.] A small poniard; a stiletto. 2. (Surg.)

  1. An instrument for examining wounds and fistulas, and for passing setons, and the like; a probe, -- called also specillum.

  2. A stiff wire, inserted in catheters or other tubular instruments to maintain their shape and prevent clogging.

    3. (Zo["o]l.) Any small, more or less rigid, bristlelike organ; as, the caudal stylets of certain insects; the ventral stylets of certain Infusoria.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1690s in surgical and scientific senses, from French stylet, from Italian, from Latin stylus (see style (n.)).


n. 1 A slender medical probe or device. 2 (context zoology English) A stiff, slender organ of an animal. 3 (context botany English) A style of a plant's flower. 4 A stiletto or poniard. 5 An engraving tool, a stylus.


n. small needle-like appendage; especially the feeding organ of a tardigrade

Stylet (anatomy)

A stylet is a hard, sharp, anatomical structure found in some invertebrates. For example, the word stylet or stomatostyle is used for the primitive piercing mouthparts of some nematodes and some nemerteans. In these groups the stylet is a hardened protrusible opening to the stomach.

The mouthparts of tardigrades and aphids are also called stylets.

The stylet is adapted for the piercing of cell walls, and usually functions by providing the operative organism with access to the nutrients contained within the prey cell.


A stylet may refer to:

  • An archaeological term for a type of flint tool found in Lebanon, also known as a Minet ed Dhalia point
  • Stylet (anatomy), a hard, sharp anatomical structure
  • In the medical industry a stylet is a slender medical probe or device.
    • For example, stylets used to facilitate tracheal intubation - see Tracheal_intubation#Stylets

Usage examples of "stylet".

Next this urn, carefully sealed up, there was another vase, containing three gold rings adorned with precious stones, two gold spurs, the bit of a battle-horse, very slightly rusted, and chased with silver and gold, a sort of seal with rough coat-of-arms, a necklace of large and very choice pearls, a stylet or pencil for calligraphy, and a hundred gold and silver coins bearing the effigy of Domitian, a very wicked emperor, who reigned over Rome and over Gaul in those days.

Next, he took a Touhey needle from the epidural tray and made sure the stylet was in place.

He unscrewed the needle cover of the first Syrette and pushed in the wire stylet to break the seal.

His description of the technique of the use of a catheter and of a stylet with it, and apparently also of a guide for it in difficult cases, is extremely interesting.

All she had to do was put the side of her forefinger against it and touch the button, and it popped the stylet, which was really a tiny knife, into her finger and cut it just the right amount.

With three sharp stylets around their mouths, they drill into the skin and suck out blood.

With three sharp stylets around their mouths, they drill into the skin and suck out blood.