[ stam-uh-nuh ]
/ ˈstæm ə nə /
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strength of physical constitution; power to endure disease, fatigue, privation, etc.
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Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of stamina

1535–45; <Latin, plural of stāmen thread (see stamen); i.e., the life-threads spun by the Fates

Other definitions for stamina (2 of 2)

[ stam-uh-nuh ]
/ ˈstæm ə nə /

a plural of stamen.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does stamina mean?

Stamina is endurance—the strength or energy to keep going, even when tired or facing other unfavorable conditions.

The word is most commonly used in the context of sports to refer to the ability to continue performing despite fatigue. Athletes train to improve their stamina.

Stamina is also the plural form of the word stamen, which is the part of a flower that produces pollen. Interestingly, both senses of the word are based on the same Latin root.

Example: A lot of players are fast and strong, but it’s the ones who have worked to increase their stamina who are most effective at the end of a long game.

Where does stamina come from?

The first records of the word stamina in English come from the 1500s. It comes from the plural of the Latin word stāmen, meaning “thread” or “filament,” which is where we get the name of the flower part. But the plural had a figurative meaning—it referred to the “life threads” spun by the Fates—the three goddesses of destiny in Greek and Roman mythology. When destiny is depicted as a fabric made up of everyone’s lives woven together, the length of each thread can be thought of as representing the length of one’s life. So, someone with a long thread must have the ability to endure. The word stamina came to be associated with this endurance.

Someone with a lot of stamina has the strength and energy to endure things that are physically or emotionally taxing. The word is sometimes used in the phrases physical stamina and mental stamina. It is often associated with professional athletes, who try to increase their stamina to be more competitive. It’s especially associated with athletes whose sport requires them to keep going for long periods without resting, such as long distance runners, cyclists, and soccer (football) players.

Other professions require stamina, too. Doctors and nurses who work long shifts doing work that is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining require stamina on all of those levels. Some of their patients need the same kind of stamina to endure an illness that may last months or even years.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for stamina?

What are some words that share a root or word element with stamina?



What are some words that often get used in discussing stamina?


How is stamina used in real life?

Stamina is perhaps most often used to refer to physical endurance, but it can also refer to mental and emotional stamina—or even a combination of all three.



Try using stamina!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used in relation to stamina?

A. energy
B. quit
C. strength
D. endurance

How to use stamina in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stamina (1 of 2)

/ (ˈstæmɪnə) /

enduring energy, strength, and resilience

Derived forms of stamina

staminal, adjective

Word Origin for stamina

C19: identical with stamina ² from Latin stāmen thread, hence the threads of life spun out by the Fates, hence energy, etc

British Dictionary definitions for stamina (2 of 2)

/ (ˈstæmɪnə) /

a plural of stamen
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