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

  • n. One who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain.
  • n. A member of an originally Greek school of philosophy, founded by Zeno about 308 B.C., believing that God determined everything for the best and that virtue is sufficient for happiness. Its later Roman form advocated the calm acceptance of all occurrences as the unavoidable result of divine will or of the natural order.
  • adj. Seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive: "stoic resignation in the face of hunger” ( John F. Kennedy).
  • adj. Of or relating to the Stoics or their philosophy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Proponent of a school of thought, from in 300 BCE up to about the time of Marcus Aurelius, who holds that by cultivating an understanding of the logos, or natural law, one can be free of suffering.
  • n. a person indifferent to pleasure or pain
  • n. a student of Stowe School, England.
  • adj. of or relating to the Stoics or their ideas; see Stoicism
  • adj. not affected by pain or distress
  • adj. not displaying any external signs of being affected by pain or distress

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A disciple of the philosopher Zeno; one of a Greek sect which held that men should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and should submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity, by which all things are governed.
  • n. Hence, a person not easily excited; an apathetic person; one who is apparently or professedly indifferent to pleasure or pain.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Stoics; resembling the Stoics or their doctrines.
  • adj. Not affected by passion; manifesting indifference to pleasure or pain; especially, bearing pain, suffering, or bad fortune without complaint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • [capitalized] Pertaining to the Stoics, or to their teaching: as, a Stoic philosopher; the Stoic doctrine; hence, manifesting indifference to pleasure or pain (compare stoical).
  • n. [capitalized] A disciple of the philosopher Zeno, who founded a sect about 308 b. c.
  • n. Hence A person not easily excited; one who appears or professes to be indifferent to pleasure or pain: one who exhibits calm fortitude.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. pertaining to Stoicism or its followers
  • adj. seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
  • n. someone who is seemingly indifferent to emotions
  • n. a member of the ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno


Middle English Stoic, a Stoic, from Latin Stōicus, from Greek Stōikos, from stoā (poikilē), (Painted) Porch, where Zeno taught.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin stoicus, from Ancient Greek Στωϊκός (Stōikos), from Ποικίλη Στοά (Poikilē Stoa, "painted portico"), the portico in Athens where Zeno was teaching. (Wiktionary)



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  • "But virtuous as it may be to stay in bed, there are those who would argue to the contrary. If I were a Stoic, I would leap from my hard bed and run naked into a nearby mountain stream. I would be bursting with vigor and manliness. I would be valiant. I would be an example of moral rectitude. However, when I consider, from the warmth of my early-morning bed, I come to the conclusion that I may not really be a Stoic." - 'On Getting Out Of Bed, A Philosophical Approach', internet, Dec 2007.

    December 16, 2007