noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.(figurative) Tequila and blood oranges star in this Margarita, which gets a spicy kick from homemade jalapeño syrup.— Natalie Migliarini
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The doc dished on the private lives of not only its star, the queen of pop, but those in her orbit. Jolie Lash,, "Why so many of the Truth or Dare interviews with Madonna's dancers were in bed," 7 May 2021 His star, senior guard Randrea Wright, was named Player of the Year. Ben Thomas |, al, "State champion coach Jarvis Wilson leaving Carver-Birmingham for Sparkman," 7 May 2021 But there’s one — the only one who has ever lived, actually — who has kept doubling down and seen his star ascend accordingly. New York Times, "Could ‘Young Rock’ Be Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Apprentice’?," 6 May 2021 When your number-one star misses almost 1/3 of the entire season , that’s a problem. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Do Heat have a player attendance issue?," 6 May 2021 Its seven episodes star Anthony Mackie, Anne Hathaway, Constance Wu, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman. Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, "What to Watch on Amazon Prime: Pink, J Balvin Docs, Barry Jenkins’ ‘Underground Railroad’," 5 May 2021 Stefanik, who was elected to a fourth term from an upstate New York seat, has seen her star rise directly in concert with her ardent public defense of Trump during both of his impeachment trials. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Here's the big tell on the real reason Republican leaders want to dump Liz Cheney," 5 May 2021 Lincoln Riley has his next budding star at quarterback. Dallas News, "Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler going No. 1 overall in 2022 mock drafts," 4 May 2021 In January the Michelin guide gave its first star to a fully vegan restaurant, ONA in Bordeaux, France. Kate Smith, CBS News, "Eleven Madison Park, one of the world's best restaurants, is going vegan," 4 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Featured on the 2015 Black List, a list of the best unproduced screenplays, Needell turned down an eager studio with a director attached and chose to sell her script to Yoruba Saxon and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios for Oyelowo to star. New York Times, "David Oyelowo Fights for Representation in Family Films," 5 May 2021 After wearing Prada to the presidential inauguration, Gorman was signed by renowned agency IMG Models and made history as the first poet to star on the cover of US Vogue. Megan C. Hills, CNN, "Amanda Gorman, Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish and Naomi Osaka will co-chair the Met Gala," 4 May 2021 Kyaunnee Richardson, Benjamin Taylor and NaGuanda Nobles return from the recent workshop performance to star in the one-act chamber opera, which will feature colorful animal creations from MicheLee Puppets. Matthew J. Palm,, "Opera Orlando 2021-22 season: Verdi... and Lizzie," 30 Apr. 2021 Grace has been tapped to star in Crater, an upcoming Disney+ live-action film that's a coming-of-age story set among a moon colony. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "There's a Reason The Handmaid's Tale's Mckenna Grace Looks So Familiar," 28 Apr. 2021 With 25 years of friendship under their belts, the two jumped on the opportunity to star in Thunder Force together. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "The Full Story Behind Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy's Friendship Off Camera," 17 Apr. 2021 Since her days as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones ended back in 2019, the actor has gone on to star in the popular X-Men franchise, as well as a recurring role on the Quibi series Survive. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Sophie Turner, Louis Vuitton’s New Campaign Star, Is Ready to Dress Up Again," 14 Apr. 2021 Throughout her career, Taylor worked with a number of fashion houses including Tracy Reese, Benjamin Cho, Tommy Hilfiger, and became the first African American to star in a Marc Jacobs ad campaign. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Remembering 'Baldwin Hills' Star Gerren Taylor On The Runway," 12 Apr. 2021 Williams is grateful to be back, and his retention on staff was welcome news to star running back Tank Bigsby. Tom Green |, al, "Cadillac Williams opens up about ‘nerve-racking’ experience during Auburn’s coaching change," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Kim’s co-star Steven Yeun, who could potentially be the first Asian American to win Best Actor, wore black and white as well. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, "Responsible Angel Alan Kim Walked His Dog Before the Oscars," 25 Apr. 2021 Amita is only 4 months older than fellow co-star Archie. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here Are the Real Ages of the Cast of "Shadow and Bone"," 24 Apr. 2021 The Dodgers' World Series run was nearly disrupted by a Covid-19 outbreak when star third baseman Justin Turner was pulled mid-game in Game 6 of the World Series. Scottie Andrew And Homero De La Fuente, CNN, "The Los Angeles Dodgers, other California teams debut fully vaccinated seating section for home games," 24 Apr. 2021 There was Mainland chatter on a star mutual fund manager raising his exposure to liquor stocks. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, "Meituan Moves As Hong Kong Pauses," 20 Apr. 2021 Method Man had the most star potential out of the Wu-Tang Clan in part because of his softer side. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 During Selling Sunset season one, Mary Fitzgerald helped actor Taye Diggs (who is also co-star Amanza Smith's ex) find a new home. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Will French Montana Appear on Netflix's "Selling Sunset?" Mary Fitzgerald Discusses His Potential Role," 15 Apr. 2021 The Blazers moved on when Aldridge left, thrusting Lillard into the limelight and elevating CJ McCollum into the co-star role, and the duo remains the bedrock of the franchise. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Remembering LaMarcus Aldridge’s guarded but steady legacy with the Portland Trail Blazers," 15 Apr. 2021 Davis and McDormand have the possible disadvantage of having recently won Oscars, and Davis’s co-star Chadwick Boseman is all but a lock for Best Actor, possibly giving voters a reason not to reward both. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars Spotlight: The Unusually Wide-Open Actress Races," 15 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' 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 star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 4


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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