General English


  • adjective used to describe sound recorded onto two separate channels from two separate microphone elements and played back through a pair of headphones or two speakers

Information & Library Science

  • noun an audio system or device that reproduces stereophonic sound

Media Studies

  • noun photography using stereoscopy


  • noun a duplicate printing plate, cast in metal or plastic from a mould taken from metal type

Origin & History of “stereo”

Greek stereós meant ‘solid’. The earliest English compound noun formed from it was stereometry (16th c.), a mathematical term denoting the measurement of solid or three-dimensional objects. this was followed by stereographic (17th c.), stereotype (18th c.) (coined in French and originally used for a ‘solid’ printing block; the metaphorical ‘unvaried or conventional image’ emerged in the middle of the 19th century), stereoscope (19th c.) (a viewer for producing ‘solid’ or three-dimensional images), and stereophonic ‘producing three-dimensional sound’ (20th c.). Stereo was used in the 19th century as an abbreviation for stereotype and stereoscopic; its use for stereophonic dates from the early 1950s.