or star dust

[ stahr-duhst ]
/ ˈstɑrˌdʌst /
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(not in technical use) a mass of distant stars appearing as tiny particles of dust.
a naively romantic quality: There was stardust in her eyes.
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Origin of stardust

First recorded in 1835–45; star + dust
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is stardust?

Stardust is used figuratively to mean a quality that is naively romantic. For example, someone who is in love may be said to have stardust in their eyes because they don’t recognize any of their loved one’s flaws. This is the most common sense of stardust.

In fantasy stories, the term stardust is usually depicted as shining particles of dust that when sprinkled lead to a variety of magical, ethereal, or supernatural effects.

Stardust is also used figuratively to mean a mass of stars that are so far away that they appear to be particles of airborne dust.

Literally, stardust is cosmic dust, that is, small particles of matter floating through space that are believed to make up all matter in the known universe.

Stardust can also be used as a slang term for cocaine, due to its crystalline, dusty appearance and euphorigenic effects. Cocaine is illegal in many places around the world because of its addictive nature.

Example: Juliet was so in love with Romeo that she had stardust in her eyes.

Where does stardust come from?

The first records of the term stardust come from around the 1830s. It combines the terms star and dust to literally and figuratively mean “dust made of stars.”

With modern space technology, we have discovered that stars and the stardust that floats through space after a star’s collapse are mostly made up of the same elements and atoms that make up most living beings on Earth. This fact has led many researchers to believe that stars exploding and stardust collecting over time is what eventually gave rise to life on Earth. This theory is often discussed with the phrase “We are stardust,” implying that humans are made up of stardust from the past.

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What are some other forms related to stardust?

  • star dust (alternative spelling)

What are some synonyms for stardust?

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

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

How is stardust used in real life?

Stardust is most often used figuratively to refer to romance or whimsical behavior.


Try using stardust!

Is stardust used correctly in the following sentence?

An ounce of stardust from our solar system sold for millions of dollars at auction.

How to use stardust in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stardust

/ (ˈstɑːˌdʌst) /

dusty material found between the stars
a large number of distant stars appearing to the observer as a cloud of dust
a dreamy romantic or sentimental quality or feeling
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