noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
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
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive + intransitive verb

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley

3 T

a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

luminary, sphere, sun

Synonyms: Adjective

astral, starry, stellar

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Examples of star in a Sentence


They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars.


The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the 247 rankings, Louisville’s class is rated higher than rival Kentucky, although the Wildcats have picked up just eight commitments in the class, with two being four-stars. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville continues recruiting streak with commitment from a junior college prospect," 16 June 2019 Five-star hotel rooms starting at about $650 a night. Washington Post, "Glitzy casino opens on industrial waterfront. Will it work?," 16 June 2019 The sales growth of workers assigned to the star sellers was 7.5 percentage points lower than for those whose managers were previously weaker performers. The Economist, "The promotion curse," 16 June 2019 Four-star linebacker Cameron Riley announced his commitment to Auburn in a video posted to his Twitter account on Saturday afternoon. Sam Blum |,, "Auburn football gets commitment from linebacker Cam Riley," 15 June 2019 All three are in the driver’s seat to winning the first all-star tournament of the summer. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Three Deer Park teams clinch berths to Directors Tournament title games on Father’s Day," 15 June 2019 The Buckeyes currently have two players committed in its 2021 class in McCord and five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer from Pickerington North. Tim Bielik,, "Steve Angeli, 2022 quarterback from New Jersey, among multiple offers after Ohio State football camp: Buckeyes recruiting," 15 June 2019 Hallmark star Rachael Leigh Cook and her husband Daniel Gillies are separating after nearly 15 years together. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Hallmark Star Rachael Leigh Cook Is Separating From Her Husband Daniel Gillies," 15 June 2019 Similar to the Marine Corps, the Space Corps would be headed up by a four-star Commandant who would become part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A Space Force by Any Other Name: House Committee Approves "Space Corps"," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Zeffirelli was best known for his 1968 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which starred Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, and earned the filmmaker a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Clark Collis,, "Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-nominated director of Romeo and Juliet, dies at 96," 15 June 2019 According to a press release, the movie — which stars Green Room's Imogen Poots — is leaning in with women fighting back against their stalker. Kaitlin Reilly,, "The Remake Of Black Christmas Just Scored A Killer Feminist Update," 15 June 2019 Canham, who starred for the Beavers, was introduced yesterday in Corvallis., "Mitch Canham and Mark Wasikowski bring generational change to Oregon, Oregon State: Diamonds & Dust," 15 June 2019 Sony has put considerable resources into breathing new life into its $2 billion franchise, which now stars Chris Hemsworth (Marvel’s hammer-wielding Thor) and Tessa Thompson, who proved a winning duo together in Thor: Ragnarok. Dale Rutledge, Fortune, "With ‘MIB: International,’ Lexus Is Cast as a Blockbuster Car for a Second Straight Summer," 14 June 2019 Similar elements suffuse the morose Euphoria, which stars actor-singer-author-activist Zendaya as 17-year-old drug addict Rue Bennett. Judy Berman, Time, "In HBO’s Bleak Gen Z Drama, Euphoria Is the Opposite of Happiness," 13 June 2019 For a period of time, Ford was married to actor Tommy Ford, who starred in the TV show Martin and who passed away in 2016. Michael Mccann,, "The Significance of Zion Williamson’s Lawsuit Against Prime Sports Marketing," 13 June 2019 The episode, which also stars Sleepy Hollow’s Nicole Beharie, is a typical mind-f-ck that Black Mirror is known for; and this episode has people talking about sexuality just in time for Pride Month. Essence, "'Black Mirror's' 'Striking Vipers' Episode: All The Theories Broken Down," 5 June 2019 The network is also introducing three new shows in the middle of the TV season: FBI: Most Wanted, Tommy, and Broke, which stars former NCIS actress Pauley Perrette. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Criminal Minds' Is Losing Its Wednesday Night Spot to Shemar Moore's 'S.W.A.T.'," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Isaac played a key role as the Magic went 7-1 before the all-star break to get back in the playoff chase. Roy Parry,, "Magic’s Jonathan Isaac put skill set on display during sophomore season," 15 June 2019 The 125 home runs the Twins have hit ties the franchise record for the most hit before the all-star break, set in 1964 in 81 games. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Jake Odorizzi and four home runs lead Twins past Tigers 12-2," 9 June 2019 Yet, while an all-star lineup has been booked, tickets have yet to go sale and the event’s fate remains unclear. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Woodstock return for Sha Na Na comes 50 years after fabled rock festival," 7 June 2019 The all-star lineup of performers includes Gov. Eric Holcomb, WISH-8 anchor Lauren Lowrey, Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann and Indianapolis Motor Speedway attorney Jimmie McMillian. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "‘Bob & Tom’ host and all-star cast will roast Carmel-Fishers rivalry at IRT," 16 Feb. 2018 While star men such as Harry Kane and Davinson Sanchez have been tied down to new contracts, one equally essential Spurs player looks set to be moved on, missing out on seeing the club step into a new era., "One of a Kind: Why Replacing Mousa Dembele Will Be No Easy Task for Tottenham Hotspur," 21 June 2018 Eight o'clock, this Saturday night, all-star lineup. Fox News, "Democrats threaten to investigate Kavanaugh after midterms," 21 Sep. 2018 New Orleans went 7-10 with Cousins and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season while all-star power forward Anthony Davis was in his prime. Paul Coro,, "Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday & Co. on verge of completing Pelicans' playoff push," 7 Apr. 2018 Embiid scored the first points of the game and continued on to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds in his first ever all-star appearance. Sarah Todd,, "NBA All-Star Game: Joel Embiid shines, LeBron James dominates and other quick observations," 18 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


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

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

Comments on star

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


showing courage and determination

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