stadia

noun
sta·​dia | \ˈstā-dē-ə \

Definition of stadia 

: a surveying method for determination of distances and differences of elevation by means of a telescopic instrument having two horizontal lines through which the marks on a graduated rod are observed also : the instrument or rod

First Known Use of stadia

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stadia

borrowed from French, "rod with graduated measurements," borrowed from Italian, probably borrowed from plural of New Latin stadium "stage, gradation," going back to Latin, "unit of length" — more at stadium

Note: According to several sources the word stadia in reference to a graduated rod was introduced by Piedmontese army engineers mapping the border between France and Savoy in 1816 (see M. Goulier, "Mémoire sur la stadia, et sur les instruments servant, conjointement avec elle, au mesurage des distances," Mémorial de l'Officier du Génie, no. 16, 2. série, tome 1 [1854], p. 156; A. Laussedat, Recherches sur les instruments, les méthodes et le dessin topographiques, tome 1 [Paris, 1898], pp. 166-67, citing Nicodemo Jadanza, Per la storia della celerimensura). The word appeared in the title of a report on this survey, "Rapport sur la stadia," written in 1822 by a staff officer, M. de Lostende, and published in the Mémorial du Dépôt général de la Guerre, tome 4 (1828). The Piedmontese army engineer and inventor of optical instruments Ignazio Porro (1801-75) traced the word directly to the ancient unit of length (see Le tachéometrie, ou lȧart de lever des plans et faireles nivellements, Paris, 1858, p. 265), though this seems somewhat improbable semantically.

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Dictionary Entries near stadia

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staddle

stade

stadia

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stadial

stadia rod

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Time Traveler for stadia

The first known use of stadia was in 1865

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on stadia

Nglish: Translation of stadia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stadia for Arabic Speakers

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