Definition of stylet in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈstīlət/


1 Medicine A slender probe.
1.1A wire or piece of plastic run through a catheter or cannula in order to stiffen it or to clear it.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2 Zoology (In an invertebrate) a small style, especially a piercing mouthpart of an insect.
Example sentences
  • 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.


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

Words that rhyme with stylet

eyelet, islet, twilit
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.