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 That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform."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

Four Orioles, including outfielder Brady Anderson (two hits), second baseman Roberto Alomar (five assists) and third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. (single and three stellar fielding plays), help the American League to a 3-1 All-Star Game win in Cleveland. Mike Klingaman,, "The Sun Remembers: This Week in Maryland Sports History, July 8-14," 8 July 2018 Curry is up to 25 points and four assists and his stellar play has been the difference between a close Game 3 and a Game 4 that has teetered on edge of a blowout. Scott Cacciola, Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "Warriors, in Full Dynasty Mode, Sweep Cavaliers in N.B.A. Finals," 9 June 2018 Predictions Behind the stellar play of point guard Terry Rozier, the Celtics have surprised everyone for being in this spot, and they are primed to give the Cavaliers the biggest challenge yet. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "How to watch NBA Playoffs 2018: Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets," 26 May 2018 At the plate: Iglesias followed up his stellar defensive play in the top of the third with a ground-rule double in the bottom of the inning. ... George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers rally falls short in 9th, lose to Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2," 30 Apr. 2018 At some point, Orlando City rookie Chris Mueller’s stellar play will stop being a surprise. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City holds on for win over San Jose, Dom Dwyer nets his 100th goal," 21 Apr. 2018 The New Orleans Pelicans just took two playoff games on the road from the Portland Trail Blazers thanks to some stellar play from Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "A statistical reminder that Playoff Rondo is a real thing," 18 Apr. 2018 The New Orleans Saints featured one of the best offensive lines in the NFL in 2017, and one decision in last year’s draft was a key reason for the stellar play. Josh Katzenstein,, "New Orleans Saints pre-draft depth chart: Offensive linemen," 13 Apr. 2018 But Simmons' nightly impact combined with his stellar play down the stretch and the Sixers' season gives him the nod. 1., "Why LeBron James isn't the 2017-18 MVP: Chris Fedor," 10 Apr. 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

14 Sep 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

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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