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)

transitive + intransitive verb

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.
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 T
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 starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (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 Former Houston Texans WR Sammie Coates should be an early star for the Roughnecks. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Los Angeles Wildcats at Houston Roughnecks XFL odds, picks and best bets," 8 Feb. 2020 Tom Brady would be the biggest star the Dallas Cowboys have ever had. Dallas News, "Tom Brady to the Cowboys? Skip Bayless thinks it might be Dallas’ best alternative to paying Dak Prescott ‘huge dollars’," 7 Feb. 2020 But this time around, Robbie is deservedly the star of the show. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "How Birds of Prey Fits into the DC Extended Universe Timeline," 7 Feb. 2020 Like’ feature to be the stars, and the comments to be the review. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Does Facebook Need an ‘Understand’ Button?," 6 Feb. 2020 Nancy Pelosi is once again the star of the internet. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Memes flood the internet after Nancy Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union speech," 5 Feb. 2020 The chicken sandwich was the absolute star of the meal. Anchorage Daily News, "Miss the old Roadrunner on Arctic? Alleyway Grille just might be your jam.," 5 Feb. 2020 Andrew Unterberger: Does Dua Lipa really want to be an A-list star? Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now' Hitting the Top 10," 4 Feb. 2020 After becoming the face of prison reform, Alice Marie Johnson is now the star of an $11 million Super Bowl LIV ad paid for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Fox News, "Trump campaign prison reform Super Bowl ad features Alice Marie Johnson," 4 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In his first game back from the fractured wrist, Sestina starred with a season-high 17 points against Ohio State in late December. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Why Nate Sestina remains crucial to Kentucky basketball reaching its potential," 7 Feb. 2020 In the early hours of a mid-September morning, Lossie Davis stared down the barrel of a gun. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "This officer was on the brink after her son's death. A 3:30 a.m. phone call saved her life," 7 Feb. 2020 Edwards had co-starred in six films opposite Roy Rogers when the actor’s wife, Dale Evans, was pregnant. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Veteran actress relishes return to role in Purple Box’s ‘Osage’," 6 Feb. 2020 But no one would ever have thought K.D. and Steph [Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Steph Curry] would be on the same team either. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker on same team? Timberwolves have 2 of 3," 6 Feb. 2020 The rapper and businessman pointed to the 2020 halftime show, which starred Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, as a different form of protest. Cady Lang, Time, "Jay Z Says He and Beyoncé Sitting During the National Anthem 'Actually Wasn't' a Protest," 5 Feb. 2020 As Ars noted last year when the Windows model was released, the webcam is no longer at the base of the screen staring straight up your nose. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "Dell’s 2019 XPS 13 DE: As close as we currently get to Linux-computing nirvana," 5 Feb. 2020 In the balcony, Blake was staring into her phone, holding back tears. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "“Pretty Much a Big Mess”: One Iowa Caucus Precinct’s Drama-Filled Night," 4 Feb. 2020 Since hanging up his scrubs, Patrick has starred in the movie Bridget Jones's Baby, and appeared in several TV series including Devils, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, and Micronesian Blues. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Are Going NUTS Over a Comment Patrick Dempsey Left on Kate Walsh’s Instagram," 4 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Suns face Golden State at home Wednesday in their final game before the all-star break. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Deandre Ayton sits as Phoenix Suns hammered by Los Angeles Lakers," 10 Feb. 2020 Canucks at Sharks: Projected starting goalies Jacob Markstrom vs. Martin Jones Markstrom won three of his last four games before the all-star break. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks odds, picks and best bets," 29 Jan. 2020 But the novel part would be the Bucks clinching a playoff spot before the all-star break. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Could the Milwaukee Bucks actually clinch a playoff spot before the all-star game?," 28 Jan. 2020 Bell is an 18-year big league veteran who was selected to the National League all-star team in 1993 and 1999 and hit 195 home runs in his career. Paul Gattis |, al, "Former all-star to lead Trash Pandas in inaugural season," 6 Jan. 2020 Booker is having an all-star caliber season in Phoenix, averaging 25.8 points per game, 6.5 assists per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Lakers should trade Kyle Kuzma for Suns' Devin Booker, Stephen A. Smith suggests," 14 Jan. 2020 McCaffrey, the son of former NFL receiver Ed and the younger brother of star NFL running back Christian, signed with Michigan’s 2017 class. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's first step toward the CFP: Finding an elite quarterback," 13 Jan. 2020 Nwora's a great player who deserved the recognition, but the only other players to receive more than 10 votes were star North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony and Duke's Tre Jones, a sophomore expected to move into a key role for the Blue Devils. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Is ACC basketball down this season? Well, conference coaches say, it's complicated," 9 Jan. 2020 America’s Got Talent is kicking off 2020 with the second season of The Champions, the all-star version of AGT that features 40 returning winners and fan favorites from all the Got Talent franchises around the world. Alicia Kortendick, al, "How to watch ‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ on cable and live stream," 6 Jan. 2020

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 3


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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for star


How to pronounce star (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

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