from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A telescopic instrument having two parallel lines through which intervals on a calibrated rod are observed, used to measure distances.
  • n. The parallel lines in this instrument.
  • n. The calibrated rod so used.
  • n. The technique of measuring distances with this instrument.
  • n. A plural of stadium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A level staff or levelling rod used by surveyors to measure differences in level, or to measure horizontal distances by sighting the stadia hairs.
  • n. (historically) A graduated brass triangle used to measure the distance of a target by comparison of the graduations with the heights of soldiers or horses.
  • n. Plural form of stadion.
  • n. Plural form of stadium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A station temporarily occupied in surveying.
  • n. An instrument for measuring distances by means of the angle subtended by an object of known dimensions.
  • n. In civil and topographical engineering, the method or the instruments by which what are called stadia measurements are made.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Italian, probably from Latin, pl. of stadium, a unit of length; see stadium.



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  • Also stadium, stade, or stadion. According to Herodotus, one stade equaled 600 feet, but there were several different lengths of "feet" at the time, depending on the country of origin.

    April 18, 2009