star·​light | \ ˈstär-ˌlīt How to pronounce starlight (audio) \

Definition of starlight

: the light given by the stars

Examples of starlight in a Sentence

We had to find our way by starlight.

Recent Examples on the Web

The space agency saw the activity of stars and noticed starlight that would briefly brighten before getting dim. Fox News, "Sun could unleash violent 'superflare' in the next century, researchers warn," 13 June 2019 To Kepler, these planetary transits looked like a brief dimming of starlight, and from those blips in brightness, called light curves, scientists can calculate a planet’s size and orbit. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "18 Earth-size planets found in our galaxy—all hiding in plain sight," 28 May 2019 When a planet transits its star, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere before reaching Earth. Harrison Tasoff,, "NASA's TESS Satellite Will Supercharge Search for Nearby, Earth-Like Worlds," 15 Apr. 2018 The absorption of some wavelengths of starlight by a planetary atmosphere reveals its chemical composition, and possibly, a clue hinting at living organisms below. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Next Great Planet Hunter Has Arrived," 10 Apr. 2018 Normally with an ordinary exoplanet, these objects diminish starlight in a very routine way. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Astronomers may have discovered the first moon ever found outside our Solar System," 3 Oct. 2018 This movement can be detected in a slight shift in the color of the starlight, via the Doppler effect. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Earth-Like Planet Found Orbiting the Nearest Star to the Sun," 24 Aug. 2016 Since exoplanets are drowned out by starlight, astronomers have to use clever, indirect ways to tease out the existence of a distant world. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 This is necessary because stars are around a million times brighter than planets and even brighter than everything else in a system, so the only way to take photos is to block out the starlight. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The First Picture of a Newborn Planet," 2 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for starlight

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for starlight

The first known use of starlight was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for starlight



English Language Learners Definition of starlight

: the light produced by stars


star·​light | \ ˈstär-ˌlīt How to pronounce starlight (audio) \

Kids Definition of starlight

: the light given by the stars

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More from Merriam-Webster on starlight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starlight

Spanish Central: Translation of starlight

Nglish: Translation of starlight for Spanish Speakers

Comments on starlight

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to take the place or position of

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