Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[stahr] /stɑr/
any of the heavenly bodies, except the moon, appearing as fixed luminous points in the sky at night.
Astronomy. any of the large, self-luminous, heavenly bodies, as the sun, Polaris, etc.
any heavenly body.
Astrology. a heavenly body, especially a planet, considered as influencing humankind and events.
a person's destiny, fortune, temperament, etc., regarded as influenced and determined by the stars.
a conventionalized figure usually having five or six points radiating from or disposed about a center.
this figure used as an ornament, award, badge, mark of excellence, etc.:
The movie was awarded three stars.
  1. a gem having the star cut.
  2. the asterism in a crystal or a gemstone, as in a star sapphire.
  3. a crystal or a gemstone having such asterism.
  4. star facet.
Printing. an asterisk.
a person who is celebrated or distinguished in some art, profession, or other field.
a prominent actor, singer, or the like, especially one who plays the leading role in a performance.
U.S. Military. battle star.
U.S. Navy.
  1. a gold or bronze star worn on the ribbon of a decoration or medal to represent a second or subsequent award of the same decoration or medal.
  2. a silver star worn in place of five gold or bronze stars.
a white spot on the forehead of a horse.
Heraldry. a mullet.
celebrated, prominent, or distinguished; preeminent:
a star basketball player; a star reporter.
of or relating to a star or stars.
verb (used with object), starred, starring.
to set with or as with stars; spangle.
to feature as a star:
an old movie starring Rudolph Valentino.
to mark with a star or asterisk, as for special notice.
verb (used without object), starred, starring.
to shine as a star; be brilliant or prominent.
(of a performer) to appear as a star:
He starred in several productions of Shaw's plays.
make someone see stars, to deal someone a severe blow causing the illusion of brilliant streaks of light before the eyes:
The blow on the head made him see stars, and the next thing he knew he was in the hospital.
thank one's lucky stars, to acknowledge one's good fortune; be grateful:
Instead of complaining about hospital bills she should thank her lucky stars she's still alive.
Also, thank one's stars.
Origin of star
before 900; Middle English sterre, Old English steorra; cognate with Old High German sterra; akin to Old High German sterno, Old Norse stjarna, Gothic stairno, Latin stella, Greek astḗr, Sanskrit stṛ
Related forms
starless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for star
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the beginning, a star, when drawn with a nail into a brick looked as follows.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground.

  • Two or three of the star blossoms from the tree had fallen all his head.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • But was the "star and crescent" the symbol of the City of Constantine?

    The Non-Christian Cross John Denham Parsons
  • Aunt is so funny, not to have guessed who wrote the star article.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
British Dictionary definitions for star


any of a vast number of celestial objects that are visible in the clear night sky as points of light
  1. a hot gaseous mass, such as the sun, that radiates energy, esp as light and infrared radiation, usually derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior, and in some cases as ultraviolet, radio waves, and X-rays. The surface temperature can range from about 2100 to 40 000°C See also Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, giant star, white dwarf, neutron star, black hole
  2. (as modifier): a star catalogue, related adjectives astral sidereal stellar
  1. a celestial body, esp a planet, supposed to influence events, personalities, etc
  2. (pl) another name for horoscope (sense 1)
an emblem shaped like a conventionalized star, usually with five or more points, often used as a symbol of rank, an award, etc
a small white blaze on the forehead of an animal, esp a horse
Also called star facet. any of the eight triangular facets cut in the crown of a brilliant
  1. a distinguished or glamorous celebrity, often from the entertainment world
  2. (as modifier): star quality
another word for asterisk
(often capital) a type of keelboat, designed to be crewed by two people
(prison slang) a convict serving his first prison sentence
see stars, to see or seem to see bright moving pinpoints of light, as from a blow on the head, increased blood pressure, etc
verb stars, starring, starred
(transitive) to mark or decorate with a star or stars
to feature or be featured as a star: ``Greed'' starred Erich von Stroheim, Olivier starred in ``Hamlet''
Derived Forms
starless, adjective
starlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English steorra; related to Old Frisian stēra, Old Norse stjarna, German Stern, Latin stella
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for star

Old English steorra, from Proto-Germanic *sterron, *sternon (cf. Old Saxon sterro, Old Norse stjarna, Old Frisian stera, Dutch ster, Old High German sterro, German Stern, Gothic stairno), from PIE *ster- (cf. Sanskrit star-, Hittite shittar, Greek aster, astron, Latin stella, Breton sterenn, Welsh seren "star").

Astrological sense of "influence of planets and zodiac on human affairs" is recorded from mid-13c.; star-crossed is from "Romeo and Juliet" (1592). Stars as a ranking of quality for hotels, restaurants, etc. are attested from 1886, originally in Baedecker guides. Brass star as a police badge is recorded from 1859 (New York City).


1824, "perform the lead part" (said of actors, singers, etc.), from star (n.). Sporting sense is from 1916. Related: Starred; starring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
star in Science
  1. A large, spherical celestial body consisting of a mass of gas that is hot enough to sustain nuclear fusion and thus produce radiant energy. Stars begin their life cycle as clouds of gas and dust called nebulae and develop, through gravitation and accretion, into increasingly hot and dense protostars. In order to reach the temperature at which nuclear reactions are ignited (about 5 million degrees K), a protostar must have at least 80 times the mass of Jupiter. For most of its life a star fuses hydrogen into helium in its core, during which period it is known as a dwarf star and is classed according to its surface temperature and luminosity (or spectral type) on a continuum called the main sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. When a star exhausts the hydrogen in its core, it typically develops into one of several non-main-sequence forms depending on how massive it is. Smaller stars, with masses less than eight times that of the Sun, become red giants and end their lives, after blowing away their outer layers, as white dwarfs. More massive stars become supergiants and end their lives, after exploding in a supernova, as either a neutron star or ablack hole.

  2. Any of the celestial bodies visible to the naked eye at night as fixed, usually twinkling points of light, including binary and multiple star systems.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
star in Culture

star definition

An object in the sky that sends out its own light, generated by nuclear reactions in its center. There are many billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Note: Our own sun is a medium-sized star.
Note: Each star has a definite lifetime and dies when it uses up its supply of fuel. (See black hole, neutron star, supernova, and white dwarf.)
Note: All chemical elements heavier than helium are created in the center of stars and are returned to space when the star dies.
Note: New stars are forming constantly.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with star


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for star

Difficulty index for star

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for star

Scrabble Words With Friends