stoic

noun
sto·​ic | \ˈstō-ik \

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

stoic

adjective
sto·​ic | \ˈstō-ik \
variants: or stoical \ ˈstō-​i-​kəl \

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

Adjective

stoically \ ˈstō-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for stoic

Adjective

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?

Noun

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

His Jewish anxiousness and self-deprecating sexual jokes were far more common in comedy clubs than on talk shows where most hosts were coolly reserved Midwestern stoics like Johnny Carson or Jack Paar. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Garry Shandling, Star of Groundbreaking Sitcoms, Dies at 66 MARCH 24, 2016," 25 Mar. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And then the ossified sculpture of Alabama is brought out, shiny, stoic, and noble, and broadcast nationally. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Alabama’s History Haunts, But It Also Instructs," 27 June 2018 On the same day that the actor’s Rolling Stone cover debuted, Lupita re-created the stoic black-and-white image on her own, writing a comment for the ages. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Lupita Nyong’o Re-Created Chadwick Boseman’s Shirtless Magazine Cover," 20 Feb. 2018 Even Diane — normally stoic — gets emotional, the surest sign that the problems are serious. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'Black-ish' recap: The kids aren't all right, as Dre and Bow try a separation," 9 May 2018 The people of West are very stoic, very much like the World War II generation. star-telegram, "13 in 2013: Tiny West battles pain, controversy as it rebuilds after blast | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Dec. 2013 In keeping with his stoic behavior throughout the three-week trial, Woewiyu sat stone-faced as the jury forewoman read out 11 guilty verdicts to counts including perjury and attempting to fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship. Kelly Brennan, Philly.com, "Delco man convicted of hiding past as Liberian war criminal," 3 July 2018 Beyond statistics, he was known for his tireless work ethic, team-first mentality and stoic nature on the court. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "Jevon Carter, Jalen Brunson taken back to back in second round of NBA draft," 21 June 2018 The residents of this household are all women — Fannie Doyle, who’s writing a book; her mother Miss Leah, who exudes stoic calm; and their no-nonsense, easily flustered friend Sophie, who has become a close companion and housemate. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Frontier Justice In 'Flyin' West' At Westport Playhouse," 5 June 2018 In it, Brady Jandreau plays a stoic Lakota cowboy whose passion for the rodeo is interrupted, abruptly and perhaps permanently, by a near-fatal accident — much like the one that befell Jandreau in real life, in 2016. Eliza Berman, Time, "Best Movies of 2018 So Far," 4 June 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stoic

Noun

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

Adjective

see stoic entry 1

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

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More Definitions for stoic

stoic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stoic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

stoic

adjective

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

: showing no emotion especially when something bad is happening

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Britannica English: Translation of stoic for Arabic Speakers

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