red giant


: a star that has low surface temperature and a diameter that is large relative to the sun

Examples of red giant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As a red giant, the sun will likely evaporate the solar system’s inner planets such as Mercury and Venus, although Earth’s fate remains unclear, according to NASA. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 26 Feb. 2024 Infrared images show a red giant star, located 30,000 light years away near the center of the Milky Way. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 30 Jan. 2024 Earlier this year, the same team detected magnetic fields inside a further 11 red giants. WIRED, 26 Nov. 2023 Nor are Jupiter and the other outer planets likely to be at risk when the Sun puffs out into a red giant. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 May 2023 For the first time, astronomers have observed a star engulfing a planet, tearing it apart in a preview of what will happen to the Earth in about 5 billion years when the sun swells to its red giant phase. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2023 In 5 billion years, our sun will balloon into a red giant star. Quanta Magazine, 20 Dec. 2023 As the companion star evolves and starts becoming a red giant, material spills over to the neutron star, and that spins up the neutron star. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 Aug. 2022 That’s changing, because red giants are uniquely suited for studying magnetism deep within a star. WIRED, 26 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'red giant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1929, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of red giant was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near red giant

Cite this Entry

“Red giant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

red giant

: a very large star with a relatively low surface temperature

More from Merriam-Webster on red giant

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