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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By investing in character development and strategy developed off the diamond, the film embraces the stoic, reserved nature of Pitt's character. Derek Scancarelli,, 7 July 2022 Jenner, typically the most stoic of the Kardashian-Jenners, completely lost her cool. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 14 May 2022 Inspired by Minhwa, a traditional Korean folk art, the brilliant creations awed the most stoic of fashion arbiters. Fawnia Soo Hoo, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Apr. 2022 But this isn’t a staid, academic philosopher—not a stoic. Willing Davidson, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Anthony was the bad boy in season 1, in many ways the shagging, chaotic, antithesis of the stoic, simmering Duke. Holly Thomas, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 The short, scrawny boy was bullied, driving him to take up judo and sambo, a Soviet martial art that teaches participants to remain stoic even in the face of great pain. The Week Staff, The Week, 20 Mar. 2022 Hulking, life-size statues of aliens and stoic, faceless Spartan soldiers stand vigil over the treasures, highlighted by a true-to-lore, 7-foot-2 recreation of the Chief himself. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2020 As for my grandfather, the stoic façade slowly melted away. Michael Roppolo, CBS News, 22 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective When The Rings of Power begins, Gil-galad is a stoic and ageless leader, ruling over the golden elven realm of Lindon. Devan Coggan,, 2 Aug. 2022 His brand of quotable, look-at-me flamboyance has long gone out of fashion in the U.S., where baseball managers are more stoic than ever. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 20 May 2022 But Williams' facial expression was stoic with his abrupt response about why his team's most efficient offensive player during this playoffs, Deandre Ayton, played just 17 minutes in their most important game of the year. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2022 Meanwhile, Pattinson appears stoic in a wool coat and dark suit for scenes as Bruce Wayne. Savannah Walsh, ELLE, 12 Oct. 2020 Some were stoic while others had tears welling in their eyes. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 24 June 2022 Heard, who was stoic in the courtroom as the verdict was read, said she was heartbroken. Denise Lavoie, Anchorage Daily News, 2 June 2022 James is stoic and fearless, rarely showing any vulnerability. Daron James, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022 The defendants appeared stoic and emotionless during Vaughn's testimony, looking at the screens in front of them where the evidence could be seen. Pamela Kirkland, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stoic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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