stele

[ stee-lee, steel for 1-3; steel, stee-lee for 4 ]
/ ˈsti li, stil for 1-3; stil, ˈsti li for 4 /

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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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 stele

ste·lar [stee-ler], /ˈsti lər/, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH stele

steal, steel, stele
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for stele

British Dictionary definitions for stele

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
the conducting tissue of the stems and roots of plants, which is in the form of a cylinder, principally containing xylem, phloem, and pericycleSee also protostele, siphonostele
Also called (for senses 1, 2): stela (ˈstiːlə)

Derived forms of stele

stelar (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

stele
[ stēl, stēlē ]

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.