stel·​lar | \ ˈste-lər How to pronounce stellar (audio) \

Definition of stellar

1a : of or relating to the stars : astral
b : composed of stars
2 : of or relating to a theatrical or film star stellar names
3a : principal, leading a stellar role
b : outstanding a stellar performance

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Synonyms for stellar


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Did You Know?

Stella, the Latin word for "star," shines brightly in the word constellation, but "stella" words have been favored by scientists to describe earthly things as much as heavenly bodies. "Stellar" was once used to mean "star-shaped." That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform." Poets, too, have looked to "stella." John Milton used "stellar" in its infancy when he wrote in Paradise Lost: "these soft fires … shed down their stellar virtue." "Stellar" shot into its leading role as a synonym of "star" (as when we say "stellar pupil") in the late 1800s.

Examples of stellar in a Sentence

the rate of stellar expansion The movie has a stellar cast.
Recent Examples on the Web While the outer shell was dramatically stretched, the inner dust was not, indicating the presence of a stellar object inside G2, lead author Anna Ciurlo said. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Strange objects that "look like gas and behave like stars" discovered orbiting Milky Way's supermassive black hole, study says," 15 Jan. 2020 The take Thanks to stellar recruiting and development, Michigan has successfully reloaded the running backs room. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football’s running backs room is as deep and talented as Jim Harbaugh has had," 14 Jan. 2020 The researchers also determined that the stellar melee likely took place between 290 and 720 million light-years away. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "LIGO Catches a Cosmic Battle Between Two Neutron Stars," 9 Jan. 2020 Like a Boss, which stars Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish as childhood friends who start their own cosmetics line, is one such less-than-stellar entry into the canon. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Like a Boss is a female buddy comedy in need of a serious makeover: Review," 9 Jan. 2020 Most economists’ forecasts for how the U.S. economy will fare in 2020 are less than stellar. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Great Expectations for Stocks in 2020 Might Be Dashed," 5 Jan. 2020 But what also has become routine are how their first few possessions of a game have been less than stellar. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Should Ohio State football be worried about its slow first quarter starts?," 19 Oct. 2019 For people with less than stellar credit, even those rates might be out of reach, McClary said. NBC News, "Americans are piling on credit card debt, despite recession warnings," 10 Sep. 2019 Potentially risky assets include leveraged loans -- loans to businesses with less than stellar credit -- which have expanded to a $1.2 trillion market. Washington Post, "Behind H2O’s Turmoil: Raters, Regulators and Liquidity," 29 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stellar.' 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 stellar

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for stellar

Late Latin stellaris, from Latin stella star — more at star

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Time Traveler for stellar

Time Traveler

The first known use of stellar was circa 1656

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Statistics for stellar

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stellar.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for stellar


How to pronounce stellar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stellar

technical : of or relating to the stars
: very good

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Comments on stellar

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


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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