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 That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform."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

Carter was stellar in the post, a highly effective defender and rebounder all season. Charlotte Wilder,, "The NBA Bar Mitzvah: Wendell Carter Jr. Becomes a Made Man on Draft Night," 25 June 2018 Barry and South’s Cam McPhee both were stellar, each racking up 28 saves. Dave Souza,, "Plymouth South goes OT for first Division 2 hockey title," 19 Mar. 2018 Hammerman, who has been stellar behind the plate, hasn't allowed a stolen base against him in five games. Gary Curreri,, "North Springs Little League 11-under all-stars shine brightly at sectionals," 11 July 2018 Third-year broadcaster Marty Brennaman was stellar behind the mic. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Lucky? Good? These Cincinnati Reds are probably both.," 11 July 2018 Szabados was stellar during the PyeongChang Games, backstopping a third straight Canadian run to the gold medal game against the U.S., earning best goalie honors for the tournament with a .949 save percentage over three games. Michael Blinn,, "Shannon Szabados Ready To Embark on New Challenge With NWHL's Beauts," 28 June 2018 At Plymouth South, freshman Amelia Freitas (19-3, 212 strikeouts, 0.67 ERA) was stellar. Craig Larson,, "The spring season got off to a soggy start, but had a brilliant finish," 28 June 2018 The left-hander has been stellar this season, appearing in 36 games with a 1.73 ERA and 40 strikeouts. Ann Killion,, "Giants’ search for a closer is wide open," 28 June 2018 Perhaps the most popular Ethiopian leader to date, the Prime Minister's performance over the last two months has been stellar. Awol K. Allo, CNN, "Ethiopia's new Prime Minister has had a stellar two months, can he keep it up?," 7 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

26 Oct 2018

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

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