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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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 The editing is clunky and the show lacks a sense of humor; does no one in this galaxy appreciate the absurdity of … anything? Nina Metz,, 24 Sep. 2021 Only a hundred years ago at Lowell Observatory in Arizona and later at Mount Palomar Observatory in California, astronomers realized that the universe was expanding and that our galaxy was just one among many. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Liara, after all, becomes the preeminent information broker in the galaxy. Eirik Gumeny, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 For example, the closest galaxy to ours is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy which is 25,000 light-years away, so its light takes 25,000 years to reach Earth. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2021 The galaxy really is open only to those who travel as fast as light—or faster. Robert Gast, Scientific American, 13 July 2021 Objects throughout the galaxy have changing magnetic fields that produce radio waves, according to NASA. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 The fourth season will see the starship Discovery's crew dealing with a massive anomaly that threatens life throughout the galaxy, putting Federation and non-Federation worlds alike at risk. Tyler Aquilina,, 9 Oct. 2021 The second night, the dining room celebrates a Taste Around the Galaxy, showcasing dishes inspired by planets throughout the galaxy. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Oct. 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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The first known use of galaxy was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Galaxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 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 : milky way
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on galaxy

Nglish: Translation of galaxy for Spanish Speakers

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


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