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

Essential Meaning of stoic

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

Full 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 Ken is the kind of guy who desperately wants to present himself as a stoic, but when alone, screams in rage. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 Sauer reinforces the cliche by portraying Free Ray as a mysterious stoic who, with one major exception, chooses to remain mute. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 17 Aug. 2021 On the morning of September 11, Helen, the most stoic of the McIlvaines, was the only one who panicked. Jennifer Senior, The Atlantic, 9 Aug. 2021 The stoic, honorable Ned Stark is remarkably different from many of the overstated, bombastic male characters in the fantasy stylings of the time, and Martin’s decision to . . . Nicholas Pompella, National Review, 7 Aug. 2021 The new face of the franchise -- his stoic, chill mug already on three downtown billboards. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 30 July 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Television westerns would continue to build upon this mythology, casting Indigenous peoples as wise, stoic, and fearsome yet doomed to disappear. Kali Simmons, Vulture, 10 Aug. 2021 Both men were stoic but stunned by the losses surrounding them. Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2021 Joseph Wood was stoic, and quietly went to sleep — for 13 minutes. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 Fans see a stoic closeup of actor Jack Farthing as Prince Charles cut quickly with a shot of Princess Diana looking over her shoulder before her eyes cast downward. Stephanie Petit,, 26 Aug. 2021 Long gone are the images of the stoic breadwinner or the heartless disciplinarian, and the bumbling Mr. Mom-figure is a joke that has worn wafer thin. Belinda Luscombe, Time, 18 Aug. 2021 The town’s sheriff, known as Big, isn’t a stoic elder, but someone who’s more interested in watching videos about the Kennedy assassination than in catching criminals. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 12 Aug. 2021 During rehab this offseason, Okudah studied stoic philosophy in an effort to get his mind right after a difficult rookie year. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 30 July 2021 Hi Joanne, The great Airedale lamp base is such a stoic dog figural! Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 29 July 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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Time Traveler for stoic

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

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stoic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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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