noun gal·axy \ˈga-lək-sē\

astronomy : any one of the very large groups of stars that make up the universe

the Galaxy : the galaxy in which we live

: a large group of important or well-known people or things

plural gal·ax·ies

Full Definition of GALAXY

a often capitalized :  milky way galaxy —used with the
b :  any of the very large groups of stars and associated matter that are found throughout the universe
a :  an assemblage of brilliant or notable persons or things <a galaxy of artists>
b :  world 11 <remained galaxies apart on the issue — Newsweek>

Examples of GALAXY

  1. The event was attended by a galaxy of artists.
  2. <they're a galaxy apart when it comes to politics>

Origin of GALAXY

Middle English galaxie, galaxias, from Late Latin galaxias, from Greek, from galakt-, gala milk; akin to Latin lac milk
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith
GALAXIES Defined for Kids


noun gal·axy \ˈga-lək-sē\
plural gal·ax·ies

Definition of GALAXY for Kids

:  one of the very large groups of stars, gas, and dust that make up the universe

Word History of GALAXY

The band of light that crosses a clear night sky is caused by many faint stars. We call this band the Milky Way because it looks a bit like a stream of milk. The stars of the Milky Way belong to our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy. The idea that the Milky Way looks like milk is much older than the English language, however. The ancient Greek name for this star system, galaxias, was formed from the Greek word gala, milk. The English word galaxy was borrowed from the Greek name.


Next Word in the Dictionary: galbanumPrevious Word in the Dictionary: galaxiteAll Words Near: galaxy
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears