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

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

Whoever wins this battle, will have the chance to become the breakout star. Sam Blum |,, "Auburn’s 10 potential breakout athletes for 2019-20," 14 July 2019 Nalayeh’s death came as a particular shock to the Somali diaspora, where the YouTube star was seen as a relentless optimist — someone who found a way to always see the best of humanity in a country where so many others seemed to only see the worst. Washington Post, "A Somali-Canadian journalist returned to Somalia to tell ‘uplifting’ stories. Then terrorists killed her.," 14 July 2019 Hadid and her stylist Mimi Cuttrell have been smart about adopting trends first, but the supermodel isn’t the only star who’s fallen in love with Saldana’s footwear. Vogue, "Forget Flip Flops! Bella Hadid Finds Summer’s Perfect Sandal," 12 July 2019 The Pelican star Anthony Davis had asked for a trade midway through the season, specifying the Lakers as his preferred destination. Thomas Beller, The New Yorker, "Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and the N.B.A. Free-Agent Kaleidoscope," 12 July 2019 Offering coffee drinks, milk teas, churros, churro ice cream sandwiches and more, the star of the show at this sweet shop is the Churro loop and ice cream option. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Move over, Tie Dye Frappucino. These 10 drinks and desserts in metro Phoenix were made for Instagram," 12 July 2019 Out of consideration for fans who already purchased James’ jersey and to avoid distractions for a team competing for a championship, the Lakers star will bypass seeking the number change for this season. Phillip Barnett, LeBron Wire, "LeBron James, Anthony Davis have to wait a season for jersey number swap," 12 July 2019 There is a tendency right now in the stars to be attracted to people and things which aren't best for you. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 12, 2019: Libra, keep your focus on your own life; Capricorn, put business matters on the back burner," 12 July 2019 The Washington Mystics star led the fan balloting, receiving 32,460 votes followed by Wilson with 26,475. Doug Feinberg,, "Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne, Aces’ A’ja Wilson named WNBA All-Star captains," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beyoncé, who stars as Nala in the film, is also expected to attend. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Will Attend the Lion King Premiere, so Be Prepared for a Possible Beyoncé Meeting," 11 July 2019 According to Entertainment Tonight, the legendary country singer will make a special appearance in Christmas at Dollywood, an original holiday movie starring Danica McKellar. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Dolly Parton and Hallmark Are Teaming up for the Christmas Movie of Our Dreams!," 10 July 2019 Now, fans of both Phil and the comedic film, starring Bill Murray, can own a piece of history. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "'Groundhog Day' Fans Will Want to Tour the Piano Teacher's House Currently For Sale," 9 July 2019 The producers behind that Castlevania series are currently working on an animated version of Capcom's Devil May Cry, while live-action versions of The Witcher (starring Henry Cavill) and Resident Evil are also in the works. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Cuphead the game is becoming Cuphead the animated Netflix series," 9 July 2019 Metz stepped inside, staring at the building’s beige brick walls in wonder. Casey Parks, USA Today, "'You don't know what you did for me': Released from prison by Obama, now on the dean's list," 8 July 2019 For none of them to repeat in the 80 days Kepler stared at the star strained credulity. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Astronomers Don't Know What to Make of This Incredibly Bizarre Star," 3 July 2019 The room was made iconic in the film series with a young Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego home for sale includes ‘Harry Potter room’ under stairs," 3 July 2019 Orlando City SC stars Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer announced the arrival of their baby girl. Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City SC stars Sydney Leroux, Dom Dwyer welcome new baby girl," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Consider this: The entire staff’s ERA prior to the all-star break was 5.16, the highest pre-break ERA since a 98-loss season in 2012. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Saunders: Rockies’ playoff hopes rest on acquiring veteran starting pitcher," 13 July 2019 Means’ path is a unique one, given he neither made a minor league all-star team nor was considered among Baltimore’s top prospects during his climb through the system. Nathan Ruiz,, "Orioles’ John Means settles in for second half after ‘surreal’ All-Star experience," 12 July 2019 The 19-year-old was 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA and 24 strikeouts and against seven walk in 19 innings in the Pacific Coast League, which is on its all-star break. Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Minors: Jankowski rehabbing; France in HR derby; A rare Cantillo loss," 9 July 2019 The offensive surge was capped by a two-run homer in the ninth by Christian Yelich, who became the first player in franchise history to reach 30 homers before the all-star break. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Reds 6: Christian Yelich becomes first player in club history with 30 HRs before break," 1 July 2019 He isn’t expected to return until after the all-star break. Jorge Castillo,, "Joe Kelly improves on the mound as Dodgers look to boost bullpen before trade deadline," 1 July 2019 The ceremony will be held in January during the NHL’s all-star break in St. Paul — Brooks’ home town — at Roy Wilkins Auditorium at RiverCentre, where a lifesize bronze statute of Brooks is situated. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Twins’ revival proving to be hit at box office," 22 June 2019 Prosecutors are expected to call their star witness, Christensen’s former girlfriend, sometime this week. Washington Post, "Witness: Suspect in slaying tried to get her into his car," 18 June 2019 Three teams composed of players from the MLS all-star team, Orlando City and Atlético Madrid will contend in three competitions involving creativity, precision and accuracy. Arman Kafai, Pro Soccer USA, "MLS to debut new skills challenge during 2019 all-star week in Orlando," 17 Aug. 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 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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Statistics for star

Last Updated

17 Jul 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).


to complain fretfully

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