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  1. a method of surveying in which distances are read by noting the interval on a graduated rod intercepted by two parallel cross hairs (stadia hairs or stadia wires) mounted in the telescope of a surveying instrument, the rod being placed at one end of the distance to be measured and the surveying instrument at the other.
  1. pertaining to such a method of surveying.

Origin of stadia

First recorded in 1860–65; probably special use of stadia2


  1. a plural of stadium.


[stey-dee-uh m]
noun, plural sta·di·ums, sta·di·a [stey-dee-uh] /ˈsteɪ di ə/.
  1. a sports arena, usually oval or horseshoe-shaped, with tiers of seats for spectators.
  2. an ancient Greek course for foot races, typically semicircular, with tiers of seats for spectators.
  3. an ancient Greek and Roman unit of length, the Athenian unit being equal to about 607 feet (185 meters).
  4. a stage in a process or in the life of an organism.
  5. Entomology. stage(def 11b).

Origin of stadium

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek stádion unit of distance, racecourse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of stadia

British Dictionary definitions for stadia


    1. tacheometry that makes use of a telescopic surveying instrument and a graduated staff calibrated to correspond with the distance from the observer
    2. (as modifier)stadia surveying
  1. the two parallel cross hairs or stadia hairs in the eyepiece of the instrument used
  2. the staff used

Word Origin for stadia

C19: probably from stadia ²


  1. a plural of stadium


noun plural -diums or -dia (-dɪə)
  1. a sports arena with tiered seats for spectators
  2. (in ancient Greece) a course for races, usually located between two hills providing natural slopes for tiers of seats
  3. an ancient Greek measure of length equivalent to about 607 feet or 184 metres
  4. (in many arthropods) the interval between two consecutive moultings
  5. obsolete a particular period or stage in the development of a disease

Word Origin for stadium

C16: via Latin from Greek stadion, changed from spadion a racecourse, from spān to pull; also influenced by Greek stadios steady
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for stadia



late 14c., "a foot race, an ancient measure of length," 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 Greek stadion "a measure of length, a running track," especially the track at Olympia, which was one stadium in length.

The Greek word might literally mean "fixed standard of length" (from stadios "firm, fixed," from PIE root *sta- "to stand"), or it may be from spadion, from span "to draw up, pull," with form influenced by stadios.

The meaning "running track," recorded in English from c.1600, was extended to mean in modern-day context "large, open oval structure with tiers of seats for viewing sporting events" (1834).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper