/stuy"leuhs/, n., pl. styli /-luy/, styluses.1. an instrument of metal, bone, or the like, used by the ancients for writing on waxed tablets, having one end pointed for incising the letters and the other end blunt for rubbing out writing and smoothing the tablet.2. any of various pointed, pen-shaped instruments used in drawing, artwork, etc.3. Audio.a. Also called cutting stylus. a needle used for cutting grooves in making a disk recording to be played on a phonograph.b. a needle for reproducing the sounds of a phonograph record.4. any of various pointed wedges used to punch holes in paper or other material, as in writing Braille.5. any of various kinds of pens for tracing a line automatically, as on a recording seismograph or electrocardiograph.Also, style (for defs. 1, 2).[1720-30; < L: sp. var. of stilus stake, pointed writing instrument; sp. with -y- from fancied derivation < Gk stylos column]
* * *▪ writing implementpointed instrument for writing and marking. The stylus was used in ancient times as a tool for writing on parchment or papyrus. The early Greeks incised letters on wax-covered boxwood tablets using a stylus made of a pointed shaft of metal, bone, or ivory. In the Middle Ages, schoolboys in Europe used similar instruments to write on wooden tablets coated with black or green wax, producing whitish marks that could be erased by rubbing with the rounded end. In modern times, a stylus is used for cutting stencils in duplicating or other reproduction processes and, in the phonograph industry, to cut the original grooves in phonograph records; the needle used to play phonograph records is also called a stylus.
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