[stee-lee, steel for 1–3; steel, stee-lee for 4]
- an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.
- Architecture. a prepared surface on the face of a building, a rock, etc., bearing an inscription or the like.
- (in ancient Rome) a burial stone.
- Botany. the central cylinder or cylinders of vascular and related tissue in the stem, root, petiole, leaf, etc., of the higher plants.
Also stela (for defs 1–3).
Origin of stele
1810–20; < Greek stḗlē, akin to histánai to make stand, Latin stāre to stand
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for stelai
The finest specimens, from the purely artistic point of view, are undoubtedly the two stelai found at Athens.Miscellanies
- an upright stone slab or column decorated with figures or inscriptions, common in prehistoric times
- a prepared vertical surface that has a commemorative inscription or design, esp one on the face of a building
- the conducting tissue of the stems and roots of plants, which is in the form of a cylinder, principally containing xylem, phloem, and pericycleSee also protostele, siphonostele
Also called (for senses 1, 2): stela (ˈstiːlə)
C19: from Greek stēlē; related to Greek histanai to stand, Latin stāre
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
Word Origin and History for stelai
"upright slab," usually inscribed, 1820, from Greek stele "standing block, slab," from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The central core of primary vascular tissues in the stem or root of a vascular plant, consisting of xylem and phloem together with pith.
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