stadia-wires

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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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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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