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

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sprinkle or adorn with stars
2a : to mark with a star as being preeminent
b : to mark with an asterisk
3 : to feature in the most prominent or important role the movie stars a famous stage personality

intransitive verb

1 : to play the most prominent or important role
2 : to perform outstandingly



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

luminary, sphere, sun

Synonyms: Adjective

astral, starry, stellar

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Examples of star in a Sentence


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.


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.


looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No one was injured and the star wasn't home at the time of the crash, but that didn't stop her from commenting on the latest home break-in. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Taylor Swift Has the Best Reaction To A Car Crashing Into Her Home," 4 Apr. 2019 While on her Oceanic royal tour with Prince Harry, Meghan donned a blazer from Williams's collection, and the tennis star was floored. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Serena Williams Thinks Meghan Markle Will Be the "Best Mom"," 4 Apr. 2019 Basically, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star is well aware that the status afforded her by her extremely famous family might have aided her immense net worth just a bit. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Just Opened Up About That "Self-Made Billionaire" Label," 31 Mar. 2019 The star of the collection is arguably the Eyeshadow Palette (above), which includes 15 colors — mostly shimmers with a few mattes thrown in — for just $20. Marci Robin, Allure, "Ulta and Marvel Are Launching an Avengers Makeup Collection, and the Prices Are Heroic," 31 Mar. 2019 From hosting a screening party to sipping cocktails poolside, Branca shows us her insider tips and tricks for setting the mood like a movie star. Heather Corcoran, ELLE Decor, "How to Bring Old Hollywood Into Your Home," 19 Mar. 2019 After all, a bright star could be close by, or just really big. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover the Milky Way Is More Twisted and Warped Than We Thought," 5 Feb. 2019 Drew Barrymore The actress posted a pic of her cats, because really, what is there to even say? Amanda Seyfried The Mamma Mia! star is basically already in 2019. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "How All Your Favorite Celebrities Celebrated New Year's Eve 2018," 31 Dec. 2018 Across the blackness the stars were thick as grapes. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The look is pared back, maybe even minimalist, often with the subject staring straight down the camera lens—and while nearly all of his images are black-and-white, every subject’s colorful persona shines through. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "“Kate Moss Doesn’t Need a Palm Tree”—David Bailey Opens Up About His New SUMO-size Book From Taschen," 8 Apr. 2019 Few films are more instantly recognizable than Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 North by Northwest, starring the inimitable Cary Grant as advertising executive Roger O.Thornhill. Scott Christian, WSJ, "Now You Can Wear Cary Grant’s ‘North by Northwest’ Sunglasses," 29 Mar. 2019 Hair It's been less than 24 hours since Rolling Stone dropped its latest cover starring Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, and no surprise here: Game of Thrones fans are freaking out. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Game of Thrones Stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner Look So Different on the Cover of Rolling Stone," 27 Mar. 2019 At the end of the exhibit, visitors get to sit on a bench in front of a large blow-up of the artist staring directly into the camera. Lillian Dondero, ELLE Decor, "Fashionably Late: An Editor's Take on the Frida Kahlo Exhibit in Brooklyn," 27 Mar. 2019 An all-star cast has been assembled for the anthology series, in which Peele will also star as a Rod Serling-style narrator. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How to Watch The Twilight Zone Reboot," 23 Mar. 2019 The large eye that dominates the right side of the image comes from a photograph Burchartz took of his wife, and the wee figure of Burchartz himself that stares up at the eye from the lower right-hand corner comes from a photograph by Stankowski. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Beyond Truth: Photography After the Shutter’ Review: The Ever-Evolving Image," 23 Feb. 2019 After the video went viral (amassing over nine million views on Twitter), Rachel was reportedly selected to star opposite Ansel Elgort as Maria in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kelly Clarkson, Lea Michele, and Other Celebs Who Covered 'Shallow' From 'A Star Is Born'," 22 Feb. 2019 The midseason return of several TV shows are happening this week, from Supergirl to Charmed and everyone's favorite series that once starred Meghan Markle, Suits. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "11 TV Shows and Movies You Must Watch This Week," 20 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Eight o'clock, this Saturday night, all-star lineup. Fox News, "Democrats threaten to investigate Kavanaugh after midterms," 21 Sep. 2018 New Orleans went 7-10 with Cousins and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season while all-star power forward Anthony Davis was in his prime. Paul Coro,, "Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday & Co. on verge of completing Pelicans' playoff push," 7 Apr. 2018 Embiid scored the first points of the game and continued on to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds in his first ever all-star appearance. Sarah Todd,, "NBA All-Star Game: Joel Embiid shines, LeBron James dominates and other quick observations," 18 Feb. 2018 Five-time World Player of the Year and four-time UEFA Champions League winner Messi leads the all-star lineup, with Real Madrid's back to back UEFA Champions League winning pair Marcelo and Kroos joining the game., "VIDEO: Pepsi Stars Including Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos Paint the World Blue in Stunning New Advert," 6 Mar. 2018 The all-star lineup of performers includes Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Shirley Caesar. Jeff Karoub, The Seattle Times, "Detroit saying farewell in royal fashion to Queen of Soul," 27 Aug. 2018 This year’s edition will take place on November 13, again in Laguna Beach, California, and features an all-star lineup of Kevin Systrom, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Hart. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: All in the Family," 23 Aug. 2018 Based on its all-star lineup and director—McKay is the man behind The Big Short, Succession, Anchorman, and the forthcoming Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos biopic, Bad Blood—Vice is shaping up to be seriously buzzy awards season bait. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The New Vice Trailer Just Might Cure Your Bush Administration Nostalgia," 3 Oct. 2018 The black-tie event was completely star-studded, as celebrities including Tiffany Haddish, Paris Hilton, Joan Smalls, ASAP Rocky, Issa Rae, and Seth Meyers were in attendance. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna Wore a Dramatic Lace Jumpsuit by Alexis Mabille To Her 4th Annual Diamond Ball," 14 Sep. 2018

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 transitive sense 1


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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Statistics for star

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on star

What made you want to look up star? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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