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noun (s, pl2=stadia)
  1. 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.
  2. Hence, a race course, especially, the Olympic course for foot races.
  3. A venue where sporting events are held.
  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.
Etymology: From a measure of length, a race course (commonly one-eighth of a Roman mile; translated in early English Bibles by furlong), from w:Greek language, Greek 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 stadios firm, fixed, from PIE base
  • sta- to stand, cf. w:Dutch language, Dutch staan), or it may be from spadion, from span to draw up, pull with form inflection by stadios.



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