Definition of stylet in English:


Pronunciation /ˈstīlət/ /ˈstaɪlət/

See synonyms for stylet


  • 1Medicine
    A slender probe.

    1. 1.1A wire or piece of plastic run through a catheter or cannula in order to stiffen it or to clear it.
      ‘I can still clean the blood from an infusion needle with a wire stylet, sharpen it on an Arkansas stone, check for barbs using a cotton ball, and re-sterilize it.’
      • ‘If the patient demonstrates an anal bellows or great toe flexion, this confirms the location of S3, and the surgeon removes the stylet of the foramen needle.’
      • ‘After insertion of the needle into the lymph node, the stylet was removed.’
      • ‘Remove stylet and confirm placement by aspirating back marrow.’
      • ‘A hematoxylin-eosin-stained slide, with the area of interest marked, was placed over the donor block, and the area of interest was aligned with the stylet.’
  • 2Zoology
    (in an invertebrate) a small style, especially a piercing mouthpart of an insect.

    ‘PPV is transmitted by aphids - small, teardrop-shaped insects with a sharp mouthpart called a stylet for sucking out plant sap.’
    • ‘Mites damage ferns by puncturing the edges of fern fronds with their tube-like stylets and other mouthparts, sucking up the nutritious contents of frond cells.’
    • ‘The salivary glands, stylets, and sucking pharynx are known as the buccal apparatus.’
    • ‘In other softbodied worms, sclerotized structures, such as copulatory stylets, provide important characters that can be seen in whole mounts, but acoels generally lack such features.’
    • ‘They are equipped with two or three rings of cuticular hooks and terminal stylets with which they are able to penetrate soft epithelia of their hosts.’


Late 17th century from French stilet, from Italian stiletto (see stiletto).