a star having a diameter of from 10 to 100 times that of the sun, as Arcturus or Aldebaran.
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Compare supergiant star.
Origin of giant star
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for giant star
any of a class of stars, such as Capella and Arcturus, that have swelled and brightened considerably as they approach the end of their life, their energy supply having changedSometimes shortened to: giant Compare supergiant
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
Science definitions for giant star
A very large, bright non-main-sequence star that burns hydrogen at a much faster rate than a dwarf star. Giant stars are much more luminous and have shorter lifespans than the slower-burning dwarfs. The larger the giant, the shorter its lifespan; the largest stars, with solar mass of around 100, blaze at several hundred thousand times the energy of the Sun and will last only a few million years, a very brief time when compared with the Sun's 10-billion-year lifespan. Giant stars usually end their lives as supernovae , but even before that event the immense ultraviolet radiation they produce has a dramatic impact on their stellar surroundings; the presence of a giant star in a star system prevents the formation of new protostars because the radiation from the giant star breaks apart any nearby nebulae.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.