[ as-ter ]
/ ˈæs tər /
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any composite plant of the genus Aster, having rays varying from white or pink to blue around a yellow disk.
a plant of some allied genus, as the China aster.
Cell Biology. a structure formed in a cell during mitosis, composed of astral rays radiating about the centrosome.
Furniture. sunflower (def. 2).
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Origin of aster

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin, from Greek astḗr “star”; cf. star

Other definitions for aster (2 of 3)


a diminutive or pejorative suffix denoting something that imperfectly resembles or mimics the true thing: criticaster; poetaster, oleaster.

Origin of -aster

From Latin

Other definitions for aster (3 of 3)


Chiefly Biology. a combining form with the meaning “star,” used in the formation of compound words: diaster.

Origin of -aster

<Greek astḗrstar; cf. astro-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is an aster?

An aster is a flower with a white, pink, blue, or purple petals around a yellow middle.

The name aster can be used for any plant in the genus Aster. Asters are similar to daisies and are in the same family. They are sometimes called Michaelmas daisies.

Species of asters commonly planted in gardens include those known as the New England aster (Symphyotrichum novaeangliae) and the New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii). Some varieties of asters are used as cut flowers by florists.

The aster is one of the September birth flowers (a flower that’s associated with a particular month in the same way as a birthstone).

Example: We planted asters around the grass in the garden.

Where does aster come from?

The first records of the word aster come from around 1600. It comes from the Greek astḗr, meaning “star.” Other star-related words are based on the same root, such as astronomy, asteroid, and asterisk. Asters are named for their star-shaped flowers.

Asters are native to Eurasia. They are perennial, herbaceous plants that bloom late in the growing season—sometimes in September, for which they are one of the birth flowers. Asters are often classified as either “wild” or “cultivated.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for aster?

  • Michaelmas daisy

What are some words that share a root or word element with aster

What are some words that often get used in discussing aster?

How is aster used in real life?

Asters are popular as garden flowers due to their colorful blooms.



Try using aster!

True or False? 

Asters are related to daisies.

How to use aster in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for aster (1 of 2)

/ (ˈæstə) /

any plant of the genus Aster, having white, blue, purple, or pink daisy-like flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)Compare golden aster
China aster a related Chinese plant, Callistephus chinensis, widely cultivated for its showy brightly coloured flowers
cytology a group of radiating microtubules that surrounds the centrosome before and during mitosis

Word Origin for aster

C18: from New Latin, from Latin aster star, from Greek

British Dictionary definitions for aster (2 of 2)


suffix forming nouns
a person or thing that is inferior or bears only a poor resemblance to what is specifiedpoetaster

Word Origin for -aster

from Latin: suffix indicating imperfect resemblance
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

Medical definitions for aster

[ ăstər ]

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.