gal·​axy | \ ˈga-lək-sē How to pronounce galaxy (audio) \
plural galaxies

Definition of galaxy

1a 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
2a : an assemblage of brilliant or notable persons or things a galaxy of artists
b : world sense 11 remained galaxies apart on the issueNewsweek

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Synonyms for galaxy


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Did You Know?

The system of stars that includes our sun looks, in the night sky, like a broad band of light. We call this band the Milky Way. The idea of the whiteness of the Milky Way being similar to that of milk is much older than the English language, however. Galaxias, the Greek word for the Milky Way, was derived from the Greek gala, “milk.” English galaxy, derived from Greek galaxias, was not used until the 19th century as a generic term for other star systems as well as the one in which we live.

Examples of galaxy in a Sentence

The event was attended by a galaxy of artists. they're a galaxy apart when it comes to politics
Recent Examples on the Web Mars isn’t the hottest planetary body in our galaxy, however. Gala Mukomolova,, "Fired Up: What Does It Really Mean To Be A Fire Sign?," 26 Mar. 2021 The accidental discovery is a reminder that astronomers are still trying to understand some of the most basic forces in our galaxy. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "This Black Hole Was Hiding a Massive Surprise," 4 Mar. 2021 Sky watchers both amateur and professional will soon have a new system to alert them to the spectacular death throes of stars in our galaxy. James Riordon, Scientific American, "New Supernova Alert System Promises Early Access to Spectacles in Space," 22 Feb. 2021 While a variety of possible black holes had been found in our galaxy, none appeared to fall below a certain size., "‘Unicorn’ Discovery Points to a New Population of Black Holes," 27 Jan. 2021 It has been estimated that there are at least 2 billion such candidate planets in our galaxy alone. Popular Science, "It’s a cosmic miracle that life on Earth’s lasted this long," 25 Jan. 2021 Since there are at least four billion sunlike stars in the Milky Way, this means that somewhere between 1.5 billion and 2.4 billion planets in our galaxy could, in theory, harbor life. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "Have We Already Been Visited by Aliens?," 18 Jan. 2021 These mysterious balloons also extend above and below the Milky Way, but each one only extends about 25,000 light years from our galaxy’s center. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "An X-Ray Hourglass Is Emerging From the Middle of the Milky Way," 14 Dec. 2020 Galaxy's Edge, a 14-acre land based on the George Lucas film series that allowed guests to ride the Millennium Falcon and dine in a galaxy far, far away. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "Disneyland plans expansion following year of closure," 25 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'galaxy.' 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 galaxy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for galaxy

Middle English galaxias, galaxie, borrowed from Late Latin galaxias, borrowed from Greek galaxías (probably originally conjoined with kýklos "wheel"), from galakt-, stem of gála "milk" (going back to Indo-European *glkt-, attested elsewhere only in Latin lact-, lac "milk," Armenian kat'n) + -ias, noun suffix, especially of natural phenomena

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Time Traveler for galaxy

Time Traveler

The first known use of galaxy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for galaxy

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Galaxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for galaxy



English Language Learners Definition of galaxy

: any one of the very large groups of stars that make up the universe
: the galaxy in which we live
: a large group of important or well-known people or things


gal·​axy | \ ˈga-lək-sē How to pronounce galaxy (audio) \
plural galaxies

Kids Definition of galaxy

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

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