star-crossed lovers

A phrase from the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet are so described in the prologue to the play.

Nearby words

  1. star trek,
  2. star turn,
  3. star wars,
  4. star-apple,
  5. star-crossed,
  6. star-fruit,
  7. star-gazer,
  8. star-nosed mole,
  9. star-of-bethlehem,
  10. star-of-jerusalem


“Star-crossed lovers” refers to any lovers whose affection for each other is doomed to end in tragedy.

Lovers whose relationship is doomed to fail are said to be “star-crossed” (frustrated by the stars), because those who believe in astrology claim that the stars control human destiny. William Shakespeare used the phrase to describe the lovers in Romeo and Juliet.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.