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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Episode one kicks things off in full force, with designer-to-the-stars Martin Lawrence Bullard as both the guest judge and owner of the episode’s inspiration home. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "See the Dramatic Reveal from the Best Room Wins Series Premiere," 2 May 2019 Sophie Turner took a break from her Game of Thrones and X-Men promo for a night out with music stars at Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas today. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner Rocks a Futuristic Louis Vuitton Jumpsuit to Billboard Music Awards," 1 May 2019 And then there was a sweet moment with the night's other big star, Union and Wade's baby daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade: Perhaps all retiring players should invite Chrissy Teigen to their final game. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "NBA Star Dwyane Wade Fell on Chrissy Teigen During a Game, and It's Becoming a Meme," 10 Apr. 2019 All of Miley's Throwback Photos Miley has been posting tons of throwbacks from her Disney days, including some with other stars like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "4 Signs that Miley Cyrus is Working on a "Hannah Montana" Reboot," 29 Mar. 2019 In most systems, that disk is aligned with the host star. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover Bizarre Quadruple Star System," 15 Jan. 2019 Law is in need of a rebranding, in my opinion—so who better to make that happen than a hard-working, high-profile reality star? Maria Kari, Glamour, "Stop Telling Kim Kardashian, Possible Future Lawyer, to 'Stay In Her Lane'," 21 Apr. 2019 Basically, all of your favorite reality-star alums from Amazing Race, Big Brother, and Survivor will be competing in season 31. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Amazing Race' 2019 Has SO Many Shocking Twists (Like the 'Big Brother' and 'Survivor' Crossover)," 17 Apr. 2019 Fans of the Kardashian family were quick to spot that the 36-year-old reality star had put her Instagram on lock down on Tuesday, meaning that anyone who doesn’t already follow her would be completely unable to view her content. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Khloé Kardashian Has Set Her Instagram Page to Private, And Twitter Is Very Confused," 16 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beetz is expected to star in an X-Universe spin-off titled X-Force, which is currently on hold. Terry Nguyen, Teen Vogue, "Zazie Beetz’s Suit-Dress Is The Definition of Camp," 7 May 2019 Premiering on May 24, Zellweger is set to star in the thriller series What/If, which will run for 10 episodes. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Renée Zellweger Is Back—We’re Just Not Sure in What, Exactly," 23 Apr. 2019 And like the last two times, this new buzz cut is for a role: King is starring in The Act, Hulu's new anthology series about strange and tragic true-crime stories. Marci Robin, Allure, "Exclusive: Joey King Shaved Her Head for The Act and Told Us Why She Loves It," 8 Oct. 2018 Hold onto your thingamabobs because Lea is headed to the Hollywood Bowl to star as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Lea Michele to Star in "The Little Mermaid" at the Hollywood Bowl," 30 Mar. 2019 Angelina Jolie is reportedly in talks to star in Marvel's upcoming superhero movie The Eternals, although her potential role in the film is not yet known. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Could Be Starring in a Marvel Superhero Movie," 28 Mar. 2019 The fact that the Duchess of Sussex used to star on Suits is common knowledge. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's Old Comedy Central Pilot to Be Released, Former Costar Max Greenfield Reveals," 27 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, Roberts has been in Coven, Freakshow, Cult, and Apocalypse, and is slated to star in the upcoming ninth season, which is still untitled. Lauren Rearick, Glamour, "Emma Roberts and Evan Peters Have Reportedly Broken Up," 20 Mar. 2019 Chuter has also signed up prominent models, including South Sudanese–born Nyakim Gatwech and hijab fashion pioneer Halima Aden, to star in her first campaign. Rawiya Kameir, Vogue, "After the Fenty Phenomenon, What’s Next for Inclusivity in Beauty?," 18 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While star men such as Harry Kane and Davinson Sanchez have been tied down to new contracts, one equally essential Spurs player looks set to be moved on, missing out on seeing the club step into a new era., "One of a Kind: Why Replacing Mousa Dembele Will Be No Easy Task for Tottenham Hotspur," 21 June 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about star

Statistics for star

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!