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


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

By tracing a neutrino’s path back, scientists found a blazar, a particle-firing galaxy that has a rapidly spinning black hole at its center and twin poles like gun barrels that blast particles into space. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW-Madison scientists expand effort to solve mysteries of universe inside South Pole ice," 16 July 2019 This includes gas flowing into the area near supermassive black holes that power active galaxies. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Alternative theory of gravity makes a nearly testable prediction," 14 July 2019 You are expected to complete four to twenty trips around the galaxy with our music, our images, our messages, intact. Ann Druyan, National Geographic, "Dear Voyagers: How your billion-year journey carries true love," 10 July 2019 That same process might be the main energy source driving geologic activity on many small moons and planets throughout the galaxy. Joshua Sokol, New York Times, "This World Is a Simmering Hellscape. They’ve Been Watching Its Explosions.," 26 June 2019 Looking ahead, visit a galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29. Doreen Christensen,, "Summer travel: Disney World ticket deals and 30 percent off hotels for Florida residents," 25 June 2019 Golf differs from almost all other major sports in a truly fundamental way: The action centers not on one playing area with a single ball but on a galaxy of fairways and greens, with multiple balls in play at all times. Alex Putterman,, "Behind the scenes with CBS Sports: Why broadcasting the Travelers Championship is harder than it looks," 23 June 2019 Their stories tend to focus on Earth itself—eschewing galaxies far far away and long ago—while being conceived on a stupendous scale. The Economist, "China’s grand, gloomy sci-fi is going global," 22 June 2019 Although this one's a little more Audrey II than galaxy bloom. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "A New Carnivorous Plant Was Discovered in Maryland," 20 June 2019

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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Statistics for galaxy

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for galaxy

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

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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
: 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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Comments on galaxy

What made you want to look up galaxy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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