white dwarf

noun
plural white dwarfs

Definition of white dwarf

: a small hot whitish star of low intrinsic brightness usually with a mass approximately equal to that of the sun but with a density many times larger

Examples of white dwarf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

However, a smaller subset of supernovas occurs when a white dwarf — the glowing ember left behind when a regular-sized star dies — reignites and rips apart. Yvette Cendes, Discover Magazine, "What Are FRBs? The Discovery of Mysterious Signals From the Cosmos," 7 Feb. 2019 The two white dwarf stars complete an orbit around each other every seven minutes. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "These two dead stars zip around each other every seven minutes," 24 July 2019 Black holes, white dwarfs, asteroids, planets, moons, just to name a few. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "They're Not Moons. They're Not Planets. They're Ploonets.," 10 July 2019 On its own, a white dwarf will not produce gravitational waves. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Space-based gravitational-wave detector may detect strange exoplanets," 9 July 2019 Scientists have already discovered that a pulsar and a white dwarf can orbit each other more tightly than the moon orbits Earth. Sarah Scoles, Discover Magazine, "Getting to Know Pulsars, the Lighthouses of the Cosmos," 12 June 2019 Along with main sequence and white dwarf stars, other groups include dwarfs, giants, and supergiants. Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic, "Everything you wanted to know about stars," 20 Mar. 2019 The simplest explanation is that the star that formed the white dwarf had previously engulfed a planet. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Star’s dimming and brightening may indicate it’s eating a planet," 20 July 2018 Their work offers the first evidence that white dwarfs indeed solidify into crystals. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "When the Sun Dies, a Giant Crystal Will Take Its Place," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white dwarf.' 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 white dwarf

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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The first known use of white dwarf was in 1922

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More Definitions for white dwarf

white dwarf

noun

English Language Learners Definition of white dwarf

astronomy : a star that is at the end of its life and is very hot, small, and dense

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