main sequence


: the group of stars that on a graph of spectrum versus luminosity forms a band comprising 90 percent of stellar types and that includes stars representative of the stages a normal star passes through during the majority of its lifetime

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web These types of stars, which are very common in the Milky Way and throughout the universe, are the dimmest and smallest of stars that fuse hydrogen into helium in their cores, known as main sequence stars. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Oct. 2022 In this case, the researchers propose looking at K-dwarfs (a set of relatively cold stars in the main sequence) that are local by astronomy standards. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 17 Jan. 2022 Stars spend a majority of their lives in the main sequence phase. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2020 There are many different types of main sequence stars. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2020 Our sun, a yellow dwarf, is currently in the main sequence stage of its life. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 17 Feb. 2020 Along with main sequence and white dwarf stars, other groups include dwarfs, giants, and supergiants. Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic, 20 Mar. 2019 Most of the stars in our galaxy, including the sun, are categorized as main sequence stars. Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic, 20 Mar. 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of main sequence was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near main sequence

Cite this Entry

“Main sequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

main sequence

: a group of stars that form a band on a graph of their color versus their brightness

More from Merriam-Webster on main sequence

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