galaxy

noun
gal·​axy | \ˈga-lək-sē \
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

Synonyms

light-year, world

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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

As that galaxy’s gas, dust, stars, and possible planets grind together, jets of X-rays, radio waves, and ultra-high-energy particles blast out. Ian Haydon, Philly.com, "For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes," 12 July 2018 Then comic-book extravaganzas committed superheroes to saving the galaxy. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Review: A Sequel With Wings," 5 July 2018 Picture the inner part of a galaxy: millions of stars that have been orbiting around each other for billions of years. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Dark matter halos may leave twinkling wake in galaxies," 31 May 2018 Alas, these behemoths are insufficient to hold the rest of the galaxy together—their gravity dominates only a small region. Scientific American, "Readers Respond to the February 2018 Issue," 2 Mar. 2018 From the fiery f-bomber Gordon Ramsay, to plate-throwing empire-builders like Joël Robuchon, who has racked up an unparalleled 31 Michelin stars internationally, chefs find that one star can explode into a galaxy. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 Multimessenger astrophysics on the rise Blazars are a special type of superluminous active galaxy that blast out twin jets of light and particles, one of which is aimed directly at Earth. Mike Wall, NBC News, "High-energy 'ghost particle' traced to distant galaxy in astronomy breakthrough," 12 July 2018 An animation of the central torus of gas and dust, thought to surround the supermassive black hole of an active galaxy. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "After years of searching, scientists finally trace high-energy neutrinos to a distant blazar," 12 July 2018 By comparing such models to observational data, such as the Gaia spacecraft's recent map of around 1.3 billion stars distributed across a quarter of the galaxy, researchers will have a way to test the models created by ATERUI II. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Fastest Supercomputer for Astronomy Comes Online in Japan," 1 June 2018

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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Learn More about galaxy

Dictionary Entries near galaxy

Galaxias

Galaxiidae

galaxite

galaxy

Galba

galbanum

Galbraith

Statistics for galaxy

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for galaxy

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

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More Definitions for galaxy

galaxy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of galaxy

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

galaxy

noun
gal·​axy | \ˈga-lək-sē \
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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Comments on galaxy

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