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When her leg was fractured during the multiple car accident, Elizabeth remained stoic or calm, insisting that others’ injuries be treated first. Her injury resulted in months of physical therapy, throughout which the enduring, quiet Elizabeth was stoic or uncomplaining. I asked how she could remain so stoic or patient while suffering such intense pain. She replied that there was nothing she could do about it, and that staying unemotional or stoic seemed best for all concerned.

Quiz: When is someone stoic?

  • When that person conceals emotions or pain and does not talk about them.
  • When that person experiences a huge trauma and goes into shock.
  • When that person puts everyone else before his or her needs.

Memory Hook

Scar Tissue When I asked about the scar tissue that I discovered on Tolbert's back, he stoically replied that it was nothing and to forget about it.


  • The coach has the unique ability to remain compassionate, almost fatherly, and yet at the same time put on the stoic front, reminding everyone of what lies ahead. —The Washington Post
  • Nobody is more beloved than Zimmer, who is a universal grandfather figure — a symbol of bemused, stoic sanity — in a game that eventually seems to drive everybody else nuts. —The Washington Post
  • Coach K is widely perceived as a stoic figure, so it was particularly moving to see his lip and chin quivering madly as former Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt presented him with his Hall of Fame ring. —Sports Illustrated
  • This would have been another fine winter to wallow in the stoic gloom that is second nature to Seattle, the most northerly and, in winter, darkest, big city in the Lower 48. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients

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The word stoic comes from a root word meaning “Painted Porch.” Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, who taught his followers to equally endure and be silent about both pain and pleasure, frequented and taught in the “Painted Porch;” hence, someone stoic is “like” someone of the “Painted Porch.”

Word Theater

Documentary What it means to be stoic.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

stoicism n a state of showing no reaction to pleasure or pain
stoic n one who is seemingly unaffected by emotions