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


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 That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform."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

Among other strengths, the miniseries boasts terrific performances from a truly stellar cast. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Amazon’s Good Omens is every bit as entertaining as the original novel," 1 June 2019 Wine Country, Netflix, May 10 A film that could very much be the next Bridesmaids, Wine Country stars a stellar cast of Saturday Night Live alums, including Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, and more. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "9 New Things to Stream in May on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and More," 29 Apr. 2019 Isle of Dogs' Wes Anderson rounds up a typically stellar cast (Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, etc.) for his return to animated films. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Here are the best movies of 2018 (so far)," 11 July 2018 The stellar cast — and a knockout performance by Mykal Kilgore, in the role Billy Porter played in the original production — is crucial to that. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Review: Joyously Rediscovering ‘Songs for a New World’," 28 June 2018 Between a mostly stellar cast and an ensemble in peak form under Franz Welser-Most, the orchestra has another operatic winner on its hands, this time in celebration of its 100th birthday. Zachary Lewis,, "Cleveland Orchestra brews potent concoction with concert account of 'Tristan and Isolde' (review)," 23 Apr. 2018 Thankfully, the stellar cast and self-love message made for a home run -- and some excellent live entertainment. -- HH 2. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "From 'Jesus Christ Superstar' to 'Hairspray' and Beyond: TV's Best Live Musicals, Ranked," 2 Apr. 2018 The movie's stellar cast also includes Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Bruno Ganz and Cherry Jones. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'A Wrinkle in Time,' 'Thoroughbreds,' 'Singin' in the Rain' and other movies in Milwaukee," 7 Mar. 2018 When you're done, head over to Mill Ridge Farm, which has a stellar reputation for breeding champion thoroughbreds. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "5 Things You Must Do In Kentucky," 3 May 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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Statistics for stellar

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for stellar

The first known use of stellar was circa 1656

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English Language Learners Definition of stellar

technical : of or relating to the stars
: very good

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