Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈstär\

Simple Definition of star

  • : any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky

  • : a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives

  • : something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star

Full Definition of star

  1. 1a :  a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at nightb :  a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions

  2. 2a (1) :  a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune —usually used in plural (2) :  a waxing or waning fortune or fame <her star was rising>b obsolete :  destiny

  3. 3a :  a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star; especially :  asteriskb :  an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an orderc :  one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value

  4. 4 :  something resembling a star <was hit on the head and saw stars>

  5. 5a :  the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief rolesb :  a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performerc :  an outstandingly talented performer <a track star>d :  a person who is preeminent in a particular field

star·less play \-ləs\ adjective
star·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of star

  1. They gazed up at the stars.

  2. There are billions of stars in the universe.

  3. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars.

  4. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence.

  5. Critics give the movie three stars.

Origin of star

Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with star




Simple Definition of star

  • : to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.

  • : to have (someone) as the most important performer

  • : to perform extremely well

Full Definition of star


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to sprinkle or adorn with stars

  3. 2a :  to mark with a star as being preeminentb :  to mark with an asterisk

  4. 3 :  to feature in the most prominent or important role <the movie stars a famous stage personality>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to play the most prominent or important role

  7. 2 :  to perform outstandingly

Examples of star

  1. The new television series stars a famous movie actress.

  2. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business

  3. He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college.

  4. She starred for the basketball team last year.

  5. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


First Known Use of star





Definition of star

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or being a star <received star billing>

  2. 2 :  of outstanding excellence :  preeminent <a star athlete>

Examples of star

  1. <looking for star actors to play the leads>


First Known Use of star


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up star? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet spindrift pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.