- in ancient Greece and Rome,
- a unit of linear measure, equal to about 607 feet (185 meters)
- a straight track for footraces, typically one stadium in length, with tiers of seats for spectators on each side
- a large, usually open structure with tiers of seats for spectators, as for athletic events
- Biol. a period or stage in the life history of an animal or plant
Origin of stadiumMiddle English ; from Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek stadion, fixed standard of length, altered (infl. by stadios, standing) ; from earlier spadion ; from span, to draw, pull: see span
nounpl. sta·di·ums or sta·di·a
- A large, usually open structure for sports events with tiered seating for spectators.
- A course on which foot races were held in ancient Greece, usually semicircular and having tiers of seats for spectators.
- An ancient Greek measure of distance, based on the length of such a course and equal to about 185 meters (607 feet).
- Medicine A stage or period in the course of a disease.
- Biology A stage in the development or life history of an organism.
Origin of stadiumMiddle English, unit of length, from Latin, from Greek stadion, perhaps alteration (influenced by stadios, firm) of spadion, racetrack, from span, to pull.
(plural stadiums or stadia)
- A venue where sporting events are held.
- An ancient Greek race course, especially, the Olympic course for foot races.
- (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.
- A kind of telemeter for measuring the distance of an object of known dimensions, by observing the angle it subtends.
- 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.
- The alternative plural stadia is occasionally used, chiefly in high-register contexts.
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 ÏƒÏ„Î¬Î´Î¹Î¿Î½ (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 ÏƒÏ„Î¬Î´Î¹Î¿Ï‚ (stadios, “firm, fixed"), from Proto-Indo-European *sta-, whence also stand).