A question was asked on French stackexchange about ausculter as a medical term and when it started being used in that sense. The meaning seems to go back to the early 19th century and Laennec, the inventor of the stethoscope. This has led to a little research on Latin ausculto and its reflexes in Romance languages.
The OLD has :
- ausculto < aus-clutare (cf. AVRIS, CLVEO)
How should the compound be interpreted?