stel·​lar | \ ˈste-lər \

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


astral, star, starry

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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 That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform."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

Unfortunately, its stock was priced for stellar, not solid. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Why PayPal Investors Felt Shortchanged," 26 July 2018 Trump's own record on LGBTQ rights isn't stellar, either. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump's Meeting with Vladimir Putin Sparked Homophobic Jokes, and Critics Called It Out," 16 July 2018 With an outstanding original screenplay by Jenkins, the movie features strong, funny, and heartbreaking performances from Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti, alongside a stellar supporting cast. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 21 best movies of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 While Drake has emerged as the most famous cast member to date, Degrassi was blessed with a stellar rotating ensemble that propelled the show to 14 seasons. Seventeen, "The 20 Greatest TV Teen Dramas of All Time," 4 Dec. 2018 Astronomy images span a phenomenal range scale, from things that would fit neatly on Earth (like comets or features on local bodies) to the mind-bogglingly large (like stellar nurseries or entire galaxies). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Some good came out of 2018: Astronomy photos," 11 Nov. 2018 The team hopes this technique could be used to study many other clouds and so shed light on how these stellar nurseries produce their young. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Scientists just 3D imaged the birthplace of stars—using sound," 10 May 2018 Throughout his 24 minutes of action against the Jazz, Walker heard from Donovan Mitchell, who just finished a stellar rookie year. Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News, "Walker eager to put bad first outing behind him," 3 July 2018 Hill was right with Lewis' pace as a sophomore last season, as the former King prospect picked off two passes, broke up seven more and notched five tackles for loss in a stellar year as a first-time starter. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Lavert Hill, David Long anchor talented secondary," 30 June 2018

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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Statistics for stellar

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stellar

The first known use of stellar was circa 1656

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English Language Learners Definition of stellar

: 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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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