ste·​la | \ ˈstē-lə How to pronounce stela (audio) \
variants: or stele \ ˈstē-​lē How to pronounce stela (audio) \
plural stelae\ ˈstē-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce stela (audio) \ or steles

Definition of stela

: a usually carved or inscribed stone slab or pillar used for commemorative purposes

Examples of stela in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An Egyptian stela dating from more than four and a half thousand years ago, now in the collection of the Louvre, depicts the Princess Nefertiabet dressed in what looks like elegant contemporary evening wear. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 The standing stone—also known as a stele, or stela—measures 91 inches long and 41 inches wide. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 June 2021 Among the crosses were a dozen stone slabs, resembling stela. New York Times, 28 Feb. 2021 The relief sculpture is a nearly 2-foot-tall fragment of a large limestone stela, a commemorative slab carved to mark the warrior ruler’s authority. Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2019 More than 1,300 years later, archaeologists working 32km (20 miles) north of Naranjo at a site now called Witzna discovered a stela bearing the location's ancient name: Bahlam Jol. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 6 Aug. 2019 The stela served as a legal document that established the role the queen was to play in the temple, together with a large donation of land and goods by Pharaoh Ahmose to the queen and her heirs. National Geographic, 7 Mar. 2019 The pharaoh had a gorgeous limestone stela made for Mentuwoser, to be placed at Abydos, where Osiris, the god of the afterlife, presided. Salima Ikram, Smithsonian, 3 Feb. 2017 At the cult center of Abydos, Osiris could watch over Mentuwoser, and pilgrims could say blessings, make offerings, or pour libations before the stela. Salima Ikram, Smithsonian, 3 Feb. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stela.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stela

1776, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stela

Latin & Greek; Latin stela, from Greek stēlē; akin to Old High German stollo pillar, Greek stellein to set up

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Last Updated

1 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stela.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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