stela

noun
ste·​la | \ ˈstē-lə How to pronounce stela (audio) \
variants: or stele \ ˈstē-​lē How to pronounce stele (audio) \
plural stelae\ ˈstē-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce stelae (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 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, "Column: A looted Maya sculpture sparks a storm over its planned sale at auction," 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, "Warring Maya kingdoms razed enemy cities to the ground," 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, "How three rebel queens of Egypt overthrew an empire and gave birth to a new kingdom," 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, "For Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Life Was a Banquet, But the Afterlife Was the Greatest Feast of All," 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, "For Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Life Was a Banquet, But the Afterlife Was the Greatest Feast of All," 3 Feb. 2017 The stela, now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, shows Mentuwoser seated in front of a table bearing a massive amount of food. Salima Ikram, Smithsonian, "For Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Life Was a Banquet, But the Afterlife Was the Greatest Feast of All," 3 Feb. 2017

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.

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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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Time Traveler for stela

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The first known use of stela was in 1776

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Statistics for stela

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stela.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stelai. Accessed 7 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on stela

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stela

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stela

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