stadia

1 [stey-dee-uh]
noun
1.
a method of surveying in which distances are read by noting the interval on a graduated rod intercepted by two parallel cross hairs (stadia hairs or stadia wires) mounted in the telescope of a surveying instrument, the rod being placed at one end of the distance to be measured and the surveying instrument at the other.
adjective
2.
pertaining to such a method of surveying.

Origin:
1860–65; probably special use of stadia2

Dictionary.com Unabridged

stadia

2 [stey-dee-uh]
noun
a plural of stadium.

stadium

[stey-dee-uhm]
noun, plural stadiums, stadia [stey-dee-uh] .
1.
a sports arena, usually oval or horseshoe-shaped, with tiers of seats for spectators.
2.
an ancient Greek course for foot races, typically semicircular, with tiers of seats for spectators.
3.
an ancient Greek and Roman unit of length, the Athenian unit being equal to about 607 feet (185 meters).
4.
a stage in a process or in the life of an organism.
5.
Entomology, stage ( def 11b ).

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek stádion unit of distance, racecourse

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
stadia1 (ˈsteɪdɪə)
 
n
1.  a.  tacheometry that makes use of a telescopic surveying instrument and a graduated staff calibrated to correspond with the distance from the observer
 b.  (as modifier): stadia surveying
2.  the two parallel cross hairs or stadia hairs in the eyepiece of the instrument used
3.  the staff used
 
[C19: probably from stadia²]

stadia2 (ˈsteɪdɪə)
 
n
a plural of stadium

stadium (ˈsteɪdɪəm)
 
n , pl -diums, -dia
1.  a sports arena with tiered seats for spectators
2.  (in ancient Greece) a course for races, usually located between two hills providing natural slopes for tiers of seats
3.  an ancient Greek measure of length equivalent to about 607 feet or 184 metres
4.  (in many arthropods) the interval between two consecutive moultings
5.  obsolete a particular period or stage in the development of a disease
 
[C16: via Latin from Greek stadion, changed from spadion a racecourse, from spān to pull; also influenced by Greek stadios steady]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stadium
late 14c., "a foot race, an ancient measure of length," from L. stadium "a measure of length, a race course" (commonly one-eighth of a Roman mile; translated in early English Bibles by furlong), from Gk. stadion "a measure of length, a running track," especially the track at Olympia, which was one stadium
in length. The Gk. word may literally mean "fixed standard of length" (from stadios "firm, fixed," from PIE base *sta- "to stand"), or it may be from spadion, from span "to draw up, pull," with form infl. by stadios. The meaning "running track," recorded in English from c.1600, was extended to mean in modern-day context "large, open oval structure with tiers of seats for viewing sporting events" (1834).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He shifted to the left and stood the stadia rod straight to register his
  position for the survey laser on the tripod below.
To date, they have rarely leveraged this potential, instead subsidizing
  unnecessary business relocations and stadia building.
When spring darkens the great auditoriums, it also throws open the stadia and
  amphitheatres which now dot the country.
Biologist holding stadia rod in middle foreground is obscured by mature plants.
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