Etymology
Advertisement
stadium (n.)

late 14c., "a foot race; an ancient measure of length," from Latin stadium "a measure of length; a course for foot-racers" (commonly one-eighth of a Roman mile or a little over 600 English feet; translated in early English Bibles by furlong), from Greek stadion "a measure of length; a race-course, a running track," especially the track at Olympia, which was one stadion in length. 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).

"Originally the distance between successive stations of the shouters and runners employed to estimate distances" [Century Dictionary]. According to Barnhart, the Greek word might literally mean "fixed standard of length" (from stadios "firm, fixed," from PIE root *sta- "to stand"), or it may be from spadion, from span "to draw up, pull," with form influenced by stadios.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sports (n.)

atheltic games and contests, 1590s, from sport (n.). Meaning "sports section of a newspaper" is 1913. As an adjective from 1897. Sports fan attested from 1921. Sports car attested by 1914; so called for its speed and power:

I have just returned from the south of France, passing through Lyons, where I visited the [Berliet] works with my car, and was shown the new model 25 h.p. "sports" car, and was so impressed with this that I immediately ordered one on my return to London. [letter in The Autocar, Jan. 7, 1914]
Related entries & more 
AstroTurf (n.)

1966, proprietary name for a kind of artificial grass, so called because it was used first in the Houston, Texas, Astrodome, indoor sports stadium. See astro- + turf. Houston was the site of the control center of the U.S. space program.

Related entries & more 
sportswear (n.)

also sports-wear, 1912, from sports (n.) + wear (n.). Hence sports coat, sports shirt, etc.

Related entries & more 
right wing (n.)

1570s of armies; from 1882 in field sports; by 1905 in the political sense (compare left wing). Right-winger is attested by 1919 in U.S. politics; 1895 in sports.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sportsman (n.)

1706, from sports + man (n.). Sportswoman attested from 1754.

Related entries & more 
face-off (n.)

also faceoff, 1886 in sports (hockey, etc., originally lacrosse), from verbal phrase in a sports sense, attested from 1867 (see face (v.) + off (adv.)); the off perhaps is based on stand-off or similar constructions.

Related entries & more 
yardage (n.)

"aggregate number of yards," 1900 in sports, from yard (n.2) + -age.

Related entries & more 
playfellow (n.)

also play-fellow, "companion in amusements or sports," 1510s, from play (n.) + fellow (n.).

Related entries & more