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 Meanwhile, Genzel and Ghez were awarded for their decades-long research in collecting conclusive evidence for a supermassive black hole in our galaxy. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meet the Women Who Won Nobel Prizes This Year," 9 Oct. 2020 But farther out, about 65,000 light-years from the galactic center, the shape of the halo changes: The pumpkin tips over on its side, so that its stem is aligned with the disk of the galaxy. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, "Milky Way’s shredded companion provides clues about dark matter," 9 Oct. 2020 The country once contained a galaxy of languages and dialects, formed largely in isolation from one another over thousands of years. Washington Post, "‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction," 6 Oct. 2020 Ghez and Genzel developed methods using the world's largest telescopes to see through clouds of interstellar gas and dust in our galaxy to discover an invisible and extremely heavy object governing the orbits of stars. NBC News, "Nobel Prize for physics awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez," 6 Oct. 2020 Subsequent observations, chiefly from the Hubble Space Telescope, have revealed that such scale-tipping black holes lurk in the centers of most every large galaxy in the observable universe. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Black Hole Scientists Win Nobel Prize in Physics," 6 Oct. 2020 This humble species on this remote part of this ordinary galaxy can figure this out. Cody Delistraty, WSJ, "How Bill Nye Draws Power From Being Insignificant," 18 Sep. 2020 The intermediaries occupied various corners of the health care galaxy before the pandemic, like offering treatment on behalf of insurance companies or providing employee access to human resources data. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "How Companies Are Getting Speedy Coronavirus Tests for Employees," 15 Sep. 2020 Our sun is just an average star, one of billions like it in our galaxy. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel," 3 Sep. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for galaxy

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Galaxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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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