gal·​axy ˈga-lək-sē How to pronounce galaxy (audio)
plural galaxies
often capitalized : milky way galaxy
used with the
: any of the very large groups of stars and associated matter that are found throughout the universe
: an assemblage of brilliant or notable persons or things
a galaxy of artists
: world sense 11
remained galaxies apart on the issueNewsweek

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.

Example Sentences

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 pitch-black indoor coaster is a fan favorite for its sudden drops, hairpin turns, and out-of-this-galaxy theming, providing thrills in tune with its whirring soundtrack. Carlye Wisel, Travel + Leisure, 2 Feb. 2023 Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course. Allison Parshall, Scientific American, 18 Jan. 2023 Salty and sour, vibrant and layered, Adrianzen’s leche de tigre is a galaxy of flavors, a potent mix of lime juice, celery, Aji Limo, onions, garlic and a fish stock made with striped bass. Jenn Harriscolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Now, food is a vast, galaxy of a subject that includes everything from wine and wild truffles to handmade pasta, fresh produce, and baked goods. Mark Stock, Men's Health, 27 Oct. 2022 The solar system, the galaxy—just a tiny little speck in the bigger universe. WIRED, 8 Sep. 2022 Earendel is part of an early, small galaxy whose light has been magnified and distorted in two curved strips as a result of such lensing. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Mar. 2022 Jacobson-Galán said the star was in a very distant galaxy, roughly 120 million light years away. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2022 Each colored point represents a galaxy, which in turn is composed of 100 billion to 1 trillion stars. Ramin Skibba, Wired, 13 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near galaxy

Cite this Entry

“Galaxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


gal·​axy ˈgal-ək-sē How to pronounce galaxy (audio)
plural galaxies
: one of the very large groups of stars and other matter that are found throughout the universe

Middle English galaxie "the Milky Way," from Latin galaxias (same meaning), from Greek galaxias "Milky Way," from galakt-, gala "milk"

More from Merriam-Webster on galaxy

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