Nearby words

  1. staphylotoxin,
  2. staple,
  3. staple gun,
  4. stapler,
  5. stapling,
  6. star anise,
  7. star apple,
  8. star carr,
  9. star chamber,
  10. star chart


    make someone see stars, to deal someone a severe blow causing the illusion of brilliant streaks of light before the eyes: The blow on the head made him see stars, and the next thing he knew he was in the hospital.
    thank one's lucky stars, to acknowledge one's good fortune; be grateful: Instead of complaining about hospital bills she should thank her lucky stars she's still alive.Also thank one's stars.

Origin of star

before 900; Middle English sterre, Old English steorra; cognate with Old High German sterra; akin to Old High German sterno, Old Norse stjarna, Gothic stairno, Latin stella, Greek astḗr, Sanskrit stṛ

Related formsstar·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for star

British Dictionary definitions for star



any of a vast number of celestial objects that are visible in the clear night sky as points of light
  1. a hot gaseous mass, such as the sun, that radiates energy, esp as light and infrared radiation, usually derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior, and in some cases as ultraviolet, radio waves, and X-rays. The surface temperature can range from about 2100 to 40 000°CSee also Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, giant star, white dwarf, neutron star, black hole
  2. (as modifier)a star catalogue Related adjectives: astral, sidereal, stellar
  1. a celestial body, esp a planet, supposed to influence events, personalities, etc
  2. (plural) another name for horoscope (def. 1)
an emblem shaped like a conventionalized star, usually with five or more points, often used as a symbol of rank, an award, etc
a small white blaze on the forehead of an animal, esp a horse
Also called: star facet any of the eight triangular facets cut in the crown of a brilliant
  1. a distinguished or glamorous celebrity, often from the entertainment world
  2. (as modifier)star quality
another word for asterisk
(often capital) a type of keelboat, designed to be crewed by two people
prison slang a convict serving his first prison sentence
see stars to see or seem to see bright moving pinpoints of light, as from a blow on the head, increased blood pressure, etc

verb stars, starring or starred

(tr) to mark or decorate with a star or stars
to feature or be featured as a star``Greed'' starred Erich von Stroheim; Olivier starred in ``Hamlet''
Derived Formsstarless, adjectivestarlike, adjective

Word Origin for star

Old English steorra; related to Old Frisian stēra, Old Norse stjarna, German Stern, Latin stella

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 star
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for star



A large, spherical celestial body consisting of a mass of gas that is hot enough to sustain nuclear fusion and thus produce radiant energy. Stars begin their life cycle as clouds of gas and dust called nebulae and develop, through gravitation and accretion, into increasingly hot and dense protostars. In order to reach the temperature at which nuclear reactions are ignited (about 5 million degrees K), a protostar must have at least 80 times the mass of Jupiter. For most of its life a star fuses hydrogen into helium in its core, during which period it is known as a dwarf star and is classed according to its surface temperature and luminosity (or spectral type) on a continuum called the main sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. When a star exhausts the hydrogen in its core, it typically develops into one of several non-main-sequence forms depending on how massive it is. Smaller stars, with masses less than eight times that of the Sun, become red giants and end their lives, after blowing away their outer layers, as white dwarfs. More massive stars become supergiants and end their lives, after exploding in a supernova, as either a neutron star or ablack hole.
Any of the celestial bodies visible to the naked eye at night as fixed, usually twinkling points of light, including binary and multiple star systems.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for star


An object in the sky that sends out its own light, generated by nuclear reactions in its center. There are many billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way.


Our own sun is a medium-sized star.


Each star has a definite lifetime and dies when it uses up its supply of fuel. (See black hole, neutron star, supernova, and white dwarf.)


All chemical elements heavier than helium are created in the center of stars and are returned to space when the star dies.


New stars are forming constantly.

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.

Idioms and Phrases with star


In addition to the idiom beginning with star

  • stare down
  • stare in the face
  • stars in one's eyes, have

also see:

  • born under a lucky star
  • see stars
  • thank one's lucky stars
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.