Search Result for "specula": 

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Speculum \Spec"u*lum\, n.; pl. L. Specula, E. Speculum. [L., fr. specere to look, behold. See Spy.] 1. A mirror, or looking-glass; especially, a metal mirror, as in Greek and Roman archaeology. [1913 Webster] 2. A reflector of polished metal, especially one used in reflecting telescopes. See Speculum metal, below. [1913 Webster] 3. (Surg.) An instrument for dilating certain passages of the body, and throwing light within them, thus facilitating examination or surgical operations. [1913 Webster] 4. (Zool.) 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. [1913 Webster] Speculum metal, a hard, brittle alloy used for making the reflectors of telescopes and other instruments, usually consisting of copper and tin in various proportions, one of the best being that in which there are 126.4 parts of copper to 58.9 parts of tin, with sometimes a small proportion of arsenic, antimony, or zinc added to improve the whiteness. [1913 Webster]