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 So how does a planet exist around a white dwarf star? Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronomers are changing the way we think of 'potentially habitable' planets," 4 May 2020 At the end of their lives, white dwarf stars grow in size, swallowing everything in their system. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Witness the Death of a Solar System, and the Birth of Necroplanetology," 1 Apr. 2020 That was first confirmed with the measurement of a redshift in the starlight of a white dwarf star in 1954. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Einstein wins again: Star orbits black hole just like GR predicts," 16 Apr. 2020 That's nearly twice the average mass of a white dwarf star. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Bizarre, ultra-massive white dwarf star is likely two that merged together, astronomers say," 2 Mar. 2020 The star was found traveling faster than 99% of nearby white dwarfs that appear to have the same cooling age. WSJ, "Collision of Two White Dwarf Stars Offers Clues About Rare Cosmic Events," 3 Mar. 2020 Neutron stars and white dwarf stars can also be seen tearing material from companion stars in the image. Fox News, "Stunning NASA image shows center of Milky Way," 24 Mar. 2020 It's known as WDJ0551+4135 and appeared to be a massive white dwarf. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Bizarre, ultra-massive white dwarf star is likely two that merged together, astronomers say," 2 Mar. 2020 Thanks to the rogue passage of a white dwarf star through our solar system, Earth’s rotation slowed very gradually from 2020 to 2029, at which point the stilled planet was locked into hemispheres of dark and light. Washington Post, "There’s no shortage of novels about what happens when the Earth stops spinning. ‘The Last Day’ may set a new standard.," 10 Feb. 2020

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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The first known use of white dwarf was in 1922

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Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“White dwarf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20dwarf. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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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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