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 That use is no longer current, but today biologists and geologists might use one of thesesynonyms: "stellular," "stellate," and "stelliform."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

After another stellar season, Saffold could be expensive to keep. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "McVay looks to future after Rams’ ride derails in Super Bowl," 4 Feb. 2019 Former Colt Patrick Robinson turned in a stellar season as a slot corner but, like the moves on offense, a smart organization should be able to plug a new piece in. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know about Colts vs. Eagles," 10 July 2018 Carolina will need another stellar season from Peppers and Mario Addison, who had 11 sacks each as the pass rush generated 50 total. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Panthers training camp questions: What can Norv Turner do for Cam Newton?," 6 July 2018 Hawkinson, though, has become a reliable option during Libertyville’s stellar season. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "Rising Hawkinson: Colin Hawkinson gives star-studded lineup a boost as Libertyville sweeps Lake Zurich," 10 May 2018 Williams had a stellar rookie season for the Saints in 2017, starting 15 games and catching four interceptions. Josh Katzenstein,, "How Saints safety Marcus Williams became a part of a Meraux family," 13 Apr. 2018 Even our own Sun was part of such a cluster once, although our stellar siblings have long since drifted apart. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Our Galaxy Could Have 50 Billion Rogue Planets," 11 Mar. 2019 If the Oscars red carpet and ceremony were all about breakout stars and stellar performances—the after-parties are about the absolutely stunning couples. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham Did What They Do Best at Last Night's Oscars —Look Gorgeous.," 25 Feb. 2019 Congratulations to these stellar students for their fine representation of Howard County. Lisa Peklo, Howard County Times, "Mt. Hebron team shines in National Economic Challenge [West Friendship]," 31 May 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

13 Apr 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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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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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