December 16, 2016
- stamina (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : strength or energy of body or mind : endurance
- How do you use it?
- For runners on the cross-country team, stamina is as important as speed.
- Are you a word wiz?
The word "stamina" comes from something that was found in the everyday life of the ancient Romans, as well as featured in Roman mythology. What do you think it was?In weaving, the warp is the lengthwise series of threads. The Latin word for "warp" was "stamen." "Stamen" also meant a thread, a sense which had a divine as well as a merely human aspect. In Roman mythology, the three Fates were pictured as spinners of thread. One spun out the thread of a person's life; another measured it; the third cut it off. These mythological threads, as well as the ordinary variety, were called "stamina" (the plural of "stamen"). "Stamina" was borrowed into English in the 1600s with both the literal meaning of "warp" and the figurative idea of the threads of fate. English "stamina" referred to the characteristics believed to determine, like the threads of the Fates, the duration of a person's life. From this use developed the sense "endurance."