something that serves as a guiding principle.
something that is the center of attention or attraction.

Origin of polestar

First recorded in 1545–55; pole2 + star
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pole-star

Historical Examples of pole-star

  • I knew that constellation, for by it one of the men had taught me to find the pole-star.

  • He clung to all three, he grappled them to him; they were his sheet-anchor and his pole-star.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • Some duties are so clear that they shine like the pole-star which guides the mariner.

    The Faith Doctor

    Edward Eggleston

  • Let the constitution be the pole-star to direct you: without it there can be no happiness for you nor for us.

  • It is used, in a figurative sense, as synonymous with pole-star, or guide.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher

Word Origin and History for pole-star

the North Star (see Polaris), 1550s, from pole (n.2) + star (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper