• Stadium


    • IPA: /ˈsteɪdiəm/
    • Hyphenation: sta + di + um


    From Latin stadium ("a measure of length, a race course") (commonly one-eighth of a Roman mile; translated in early English Bibles by furlong), from Ancient Greek στάδιον (stadion, "a measure of length, a running track"), especially the track at Olympia, which was one stadium in length. The Greek word may literally mean "fixed standard of length" (from στάδιος (stadios, "firm, fixed"), from Proto-Indo-European *sta-, whence also stand).

    Full definition of stadium



    (plural stadiums or stadia)
    1. A venue where sporting events are held.
      • 2013 June 18, Simon Romero, "Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders," New York Times (retrieved 21 June 2013)In a convulsion that has caught many in Brazil and beyond by surprise, waves of protesters denounced their leaders for dedicating so many resources to cultivating Brazil’s global image by building stadiums for international events, when basic services like education and health care remain woefully inadequate.
    2. An ancient Greek race course, especially, the Olympic course for foot races.
    3. (now historical) A Greek measure of length, being the chief one used for itinerary distances, also adopted by the Romans for nautical and astronomical measurements, equal to 600 Greek or 625 Roman feet, or 125 Roman paces, or to 606 feet, 9 inches.
      • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.ii.3:Dionysiodorus ... sent a letter ad superos after he was dead, from the centre of the earth, to signify what distance the same centre was from the superficies of the same, viz. 42,000 stadiums ....
    4. A kind of telemeter for measuring the distance of an object of known dimensions, by observing the angle it subtends.
    5. In surveying, a graduated rod used to measure the distance of the place where it stands from an instrument having a telescope, by observing the number of the graduations of the rod that are seen between certain parallel wires (stadia wires) in the field of view of the telescope.

    Usage notes

    The alternative plural stadia is occasionally used, chiefly in high-register contexts.


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