Wolf-Rayet star

[woo lf-rahy-ey; French vawlf-ra-ye]


a very hot (35,000–100,000 K) and luminous star in the early stages of evolution, with broad emission lines in its spectrum.

Origin of Wolf-Rayet star

1885–90; after French astronomers Charles J. E. Wolf (1827–1918) and Georges Rayet (1839–1906)

Also called W-R star.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for wolf-rayet star

Wolf-Rayet star


any of a small class of very hot intensely luminous stars surrounded by a rapidly expanding envelope of gas

Word Origin for Wolf-Rayet star

C19: named after Charles Wolf (1827–1918) and Georges Rayet (1839–1906), French astronomers

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