[ stee-lee, steel for 1-3; steel, stee-lee for 4 ]
/ ˈsti li, stil for 1-3; stil, ˈsti li for 4 /
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noun, plural ste·lai [stee-lahy], /ˈsti laɪ/, ste·les [stee-leez, steelz]. /ˈsti liz, stilz/.
an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.
Architecture. a prepared surface on the face of a building, a rock, etc., bearing an inscription or the like.
(in ancient Rome) a burial stone.
Botany. the central cylinder or cylinders of vascular and related tissue in the stem, root, petiole, leaf, etc., of the higher plants.
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Question 1 of 9
Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?
Also ste·la [stee-luh] /ˈsti lə/ (for defs. 1-3).
Origin of stele
First recorded in 1810–20; from Greek stḗlē, akin to histánai “to make stand,” Latin stāre “to stand”; see stand
OTHER WORDS FROM steleste·lar [stee-ler], /ˈsti lər/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
British Dictionary definitions for stele
/ (ˈstiːlɪ, stiːl) /
noun plural stelae (ˈstiːliː) or steles (ˈstiːlɪz, stiːlz)
an upright stone slab or column decorated with figures or inscriptions, common in prehistoric times
a prepared vertical surface that has a commemorative inscription or design, esp one on the face of a building
Also called (for senses 1, 2): stela (ˈstiːlə)
Derived forms of stelestelar (ˈstiːlə), adjective
Word Origin for stele
C19: from Greek stēlē; related to Greek histanai to stand, Latin stāre
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
Scientific definitions for stele
[ stēl, stē′lē ]
The central core of primary vascular tissues in the stem or root of a vascular plant, consisting of xylem and phloem together with pith.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.