sto·​ic | \ ˈstō-ik How to pronounce stoic (audio) \

Definition of stoic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : a member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium about 300 b.c. holding that the wise man should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submissive to natural law
2 : one apparently or professedly indifferent to pleasure or pain


sto·​ic | \ ˈstō-ik How to pronounce stoic (audio) \
variants: or stoical \ ˈstō-​i-​kəl How to pronounce stoic (audio) \

Definition of stoic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : of, relating to, or resembling the Stoics or their doctrines Stoic logic
2 : not affected by or showing passion or feeling especially : firmly restraining response to pain or distress a stoic indifference to cold

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Other Words from stoic


stoically \ ˈstō-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce stoic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for stoic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for stoic


impassive, stoic, phlegmatic, apathetic, stolid mean unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression. met the news with an impassive look stoic implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline. was resolutely stoic even in adversity phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse. a phlegmatic man unmoved by tears apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness. charitable appeals met an apathetic response stolid implies a habitual absence of interest, responsiveness, or curiosity. stolid workers wedded to routine

What is the origin of stoic?


Zeno of Citium, born in Cyprus in the 4th century B.C.E., traveled to Athens while a young man and studied with the important philosophers of the day, among them two influential Cynics. He eventually arrived at his own philosophy and began teaching at a public hall called the Stoa Poikile. Zeno's philosophy, Stoicism, took its name from the hall where he taught, and it preached self-control, fortitude, and justice; passion was seen as the cause of all evil. By the 14th century, English speakers had adopted the word stoic as a general term for anyone who could face adversity calmly and without excess emotion. By the 15th century, we'd also begun using it as an adjective meaning "not affected by or showing passion or feeling."

Examples of stoic in a Sentence

Noun "That would have been to dishonor him," said Carr, a notorious stoic who was nearly overcome by emotion in his postgame press conference. Instead, he told the Wolverines that the best way to honor Schembechler was "to play in a way that would have made him proud." — Austin Murphy, Sports Illustrated, 27 Nov. 2006 The philosophical implications of this claim are as volcanic as the emotions it depicts, for Nussbaum here counters an age-old view espoused by Stoics, Christians and Kantians, alike: emotions are disruptive and subversive to reason, they arise from parochial needs and interests and therefore the life well lived is the life in which the things of this world are left behind for a higher sphere beyond accident, pain and desire. — Wendy Steiner, New York Times Book Review, 18 Nov. 2001 Whereas Ludwig Wittgenstein once compared philosophers to garbage men sweeping the mind clean of wrongheaded concepts, Nussbaum believes they should be "lawyers for humanity"—a phrase she borrows from Seneca, her favorite Stoic thinker. — Robert S. Boynton, New York Times Magazine, 21 Nov. 1999 Adjective My stoic Serbian brother-in-law, Aleksandar Vasilic, gave me the ultimate confidence booster of bawling all the way through the manuscript when I gave it to him to read. — Helene Cooper, The House At Sugar Beach, (2008) 2009 Grant recorded his thought-experiment when he was an old man dying of cancer, who in spite of his pain had managed to achieve a stoical serenity. — Jackson Lears, New Republic, 9 & 16 Sept. 2002 As it flew past the pole, a three-run homer, Richardson saw the stoical Berra do something he'd never seen him do. "Halfway between home and first, he was jumping up and down," Richardson recalls. "Boy, was he happy to hit that ball!" — William Nack, Sports Illustrated, 23 Oct. 2000 He had a stoic expression on his face. after waiting six years for permission to immigrate to the U.S., the family is stoic about a six-month postponement
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chills, as Rafer Johnson, stoic and majestic, put flame to the torch. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 July 2021 But this was Leonard’s masterpiece, the kind of stoic, postseason resilience that defined his career in San Antonio and Toronto and which the Clippers so badly wanted to rub off on them. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2021 The moment was particularly wonderful to watch — Carney, happily talking himself in circles with a wide grin on his face, and Auerbach, stoic at first but then slowly unfolding into quiet laughter. Hanif Abdurraqib, New York Times, 26 May 2021 By simply being herself Sidner has quietly helped shed the pervasive illusion of the stoic—often male—reporter, unmoved by the death and destruction unraveling before them. Marquita K. Harris, Glamour, 19 May 2021 Her photographs have a stoic yet fluid presence, thick with inky memories; her film and video works are full of movement, magic, song and even humor. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, 18 Mar. 2021 The young boy’s expression never changed, remaining stoic even when challenged at uncomfortably high volume. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2021 The definition of a stoic is a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 17 Apr. 2021 Flanigan, with a classical, enigmatic face lifted from a Da Vinci portrait, delivers a stoic yet transfixing performance as Autumn. Beth Marchant, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So while most saw the steely and stoic old-school coach who patrolled the sidelines, others noticed a nurturing and thoughtful father figure. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 23 July 2021 Rolen was solid and stoic as a stone and could be just as quiet. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 30 June 2021 Chauvin remained mostly expressionless and stoic throughout the trial –– even when he was found guilty. Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY, 23 June 2021 While his father was stoic, the suspect's mom became teary-eyed as her son appeared on the screen and was read his rights. Tim Fitzsimons, NBC News, 10 May 2021 In this way, boys and men are policed into the emotionally stoic performance of masculinity, training us into a lifetime of hiding authentic expression, thereby suppressing a basic building block of forming authentic healthy relationships. Kathy Caprino, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Her parents, Darlene and Craig, noticed that her usually expressive personality became more stoic and rigid. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 May 2021 When last spotted by some, this stoic canine, engulfed in fire, was being dragged into the blue-flame fury of a presidential election. Washington Post, 18 May 2021 Behind that stoic face, was an intense competitor who wanted to win and wanted his teammates to contribute no matter their role. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 11 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stoic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stoic


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stoic

Noun and Adjective

Middle English, from Latin stoicus, from Greek stōïkos, literally, of the portico, from Stoa (Poikilē) the Painted Portico, portico at Athens where Zeno taught

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The first known use of stoic was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stoic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for stoic



English Language Learners Definition of stoic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who accepts what happens without complaining or showing emotion



English Language Learners Definition of stoic (Entry 2 of 2)

: showing no emotion especially when something bad is happening

More from Merriam-Webster on stoic

Nglish: Translation of stoic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stoic for Arabic Speakers


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