lodestar

noun lode·star \ ˈlōd-ˌstär \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of lodestar

1 archaic :a star that leads or guides; especially :north star
2 :one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide

lodestar was our Word of the Day on 04/18/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of lodestar in a Sentence

  1. The idea of public service has been a lodestar for her throughout her life.

  2. a society seemingly with unbridled greed as its only lodestar

Recent Examples of lodestar from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lodestar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The literal, albeit archaic, meaning of "lodestar" is "a star that leads or guides; especially : the North Star." (The first half of the word derives from the Middle English word "lode," meaning "course.") Both the literal and the figurative sense ("an inspiration or guide") date back to the 14th century, the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. The literal sense fell out of use in the 17th century, and so, for a while, did the figurative sense - but it appeared again 170 years later, when Sir Walter Scott used it in his 1813 poem The Bridal of Triermain.

Origin and Etymology of lodestar

Middle English lode sterre, from lode course, from Old English lād


LODESTAR Defined for English Language Learners

lodestar

noun

Definition of lodestar for English Language Learners

  • : something or someone that leads or guides a person or group of people


Law Dictionary

lodestar

noun lode·star \ ˈlōd-ˌstär \

legal Definition of lodestar

:the amount obtained by multiplying the reasonable amount of hours spent by an attorney working on a case by the reasonable hourly billing rate for purposes of calculating an award of attorney's fees

Origin and Etymology of lodestar

perhaps from the notion of the lodestar as a guiding light or principle



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