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 But this movement away from our galaxy isn't entirely surprising. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Hubble spots galaxy moving away from us at 3 million miles per hour," 6 July 2020 About 730 light-years away, not far on the scale of our galaxy, an utterly bizarre planet orbits a sun-like star. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Bizarre new planet is largest known rocky world, 40 times as massive as Earth," 1 July 2020 Even that is fairly quick compared with the time required for light to cross a galaxy cluster—about 10 million years. Scientific American, "Black Hole BLOWBACK," 1 July 2020 Astronomers traced the flash to the center of a distant galaxy, where a supermassive black hole lies, surrounded by a glowing disk of swirling gas and dust. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Black Holes Might Be Lighting Up," 25 June 2020 In another project, astronomers recently discovered a strange repeating rhythm of fast radio bursts coming from outside our galaxy. Fox News, "Scientists discover 'cosmic baby'," 19 June 2020 Our yellow sun, for instance, is not so mediocre in a galaxy where red dwarf stars are the norm. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "The Milky Way could have dozens of alien civilizations capable of contacting us," 18 June 2020 If other technological civilizations last as long as ours which is currently 100 years old, then there will be about 36 ongoing intelligent technical civilizations throughout our galaxy. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "We are not alone, study says: There could be 'dozens' of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy," 16 June 2020 As the braggadocios smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon, Ford even had chemistry with a guy in a Wookie costume and quickly proved the galaxy had a new superstar on its hands. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Harrison Ford turns 78 today; Here are his 10 best movies," 13 July 2020

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

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

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Statistics for galaxy

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Galaxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for galaxy


How to pronounce galaxy (audio)

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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