stoic

noun
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

stoic

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

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for stoic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 He had been educated by the great Stoic philosopher Seneca, but Nero was clearly no stoic. Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New, Nicer Nero," 18 Sep. 2020 Whelan’s lawyers and siblings describe him as a stoic optimist, with a certainty that, sooner or later, his ordeal will end. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The American Prisoner in Russia Trapped Between Putin and Trump," 4 Sep. 2020 Phyllis Logan, best known for her role as the stoic, yet empathetic, housekeeper Mrs. Hughes, has what is certainly a less stressful Christmas tradition with her family: going out to a restaurant to eat. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "'Downton Abbey' Stars Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan Share Their Holiday Traditions," 19 Dec. 2019 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 There’s something almost stoic about Touitou, and by extension, A.P.C.’s philosophy, with its quiet quest for perfection and timelessness. Lisa Wood Shapiro, refinery29.com, "I Can’t Quit You: An Ode To The Dress That Taught Me How To Dress," 14 Sep. 2020 The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, the reigning Finals MVP, has dominated with his physical, stoic style, too. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "As Clippers try to help Paul George ‘get out of his head’ in shooting slump, the Mavs remain cautious," 24 Aug. 2020 Sometimes a calm, stoic presence in the midst of crisis is all a team needs to weather a storm. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever show poise under pressure, hold off New York Liberty for 86-79 win," 14 Aug. 2020 Brandon Trost, the film opens in the fictional locale of Schlupsk in 1919 with bearded ditch digger Herschel Greenbaum, played by Rogen channeling a stoic cross between Borat and Yakov Smirnoff. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: Seth Rogen's 'An American Pickle' is a scatterbrained comedy of dill repute," 4 Aug. 2020 Brandon Trost, the film opens in the fictional locale of Schlupsk in 1919 with bearded ditch digger Herschel Greenbaum, played by Rogen, channeling a stoic cross between Borat and Yakov Smirnoff. Brian Truitt, Detroit Free Press, "Seth Rogen’s ‘American Pickle’ is no big dill," 7 Aug. 2020 Their little interaction is sharp and light and lively and fully inspired; Rogen has fun imagining how a stoic Jewish man from a century ago would react to seeing Barbra Streisand. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, "Review: A sweet fable in Seth Rogen's 'An American Pickle'," 4 Aug. 2020 While the Los Angeles Clippers were rolling to a 126-103 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans, forward Marcus Morris tried to elicit a smile from the famously stoic Kawhi Leonard, who didn't seem interested. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "Raptors coach Nick Nurse finding new ways to spend free time inside NBA bubble," 2 Aug. 2020 Capricorn is ruled by taskmaster Saturn, the stoic planet that governs time and restrictions. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Personality of a Capricorn, Explained," 31 July 2020

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 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

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stoic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stoic. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for stoic

stoic

noun
How to pronounce stoic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stoic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

stoic

adjective
How to pronounce stoic (audio)

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

: showing no emotion especially when something bad is happening

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