noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film. (figurative) Tequila and blood oranges star in this Margarita, which gets a spicy kick from homemade jalapeño syrup.— Natalie Migliarini
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Rubbermaid Brilliance food storage containers combine value with versatility for an all-star set. Laura (fisher) Matta, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Sep. 2022 Tonight at the Kia Forum, the Foo Fighters and Hawkins’ family will present the second all-star tribute concert to the late drummer, some 50 miles from Laguna Beach, where Hawkins first started pounding on a kit and dreaming of rock stardom. Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 The late Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins will be honored in an all-star tribute concert in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Chloe Melas, CNN, 27 Sep. 2022 For starters, the Pro Bowl (effectively the NFL’s take on the all-star game) will become a flag football game that will air on ESPN and ABC on Feb. 5, 2023. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Sep. 2022 Amazon Prime Video put their own spin on A League of Their Own this year with an all-star cast. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2022 This lineup of all-star Dylan surrogates has yet to be officially announced. Chris Willman, Variety, 23 Sep. 2022 The all-star cast in the 1984 version of this sci-fi comedy can't be beat. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 22 Sep. 2022 The editorial team is composed of Latin all-star journalists including deputy editor Sigal Ratner-Arias, who joins the team after two decades leading Spanish entertainment at the Associated Press. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Actor Georgie Farmer will star in Wednesday as Ajax Petropolus, a student at Nevermore Academy who is also a Gorgon. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 26 Sep. 2022 Wicked will star Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 22 Sep. 2022 Milian will star as Collette Jones, a character previously played by the late Rivera, in the dance series. Emlyn Travis,, 17 Sep. 2022 According to sources, Moore would star as socialite Ann Woodward, a former showgirl and radio actress who was infamously accused of murdering her husband in 1955. Joe Otterson, Variety, 16 Sep. 2022 The Crown is in production on its sixth season; its fifth installment, which is slated to premiere in November, will star Imelda Staunton as the queen, Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2022 Along with the Gilliland sisters, the show will star Cobie Smulders and Kyle Bornheimer as Tegan and Sara’s parents, Simone and Patrick. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 7 Sep. 2022 In the play — which will officially open Oct. 13 — John will star as Boy Willie, the role originated by Samuel when The Piano Lesson premiered in 1987 at the Yale Repertory Theatre. Michael Gioia, Peoplemag, 7 Sep. 2022 The rapper will star as Guy Miller, a former criminal in Atlanta, Georgia, who’s in the process of trying to get his life back on track. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 25 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The role pairs him with co-star and longtime fan, Timothee Chalamet in addition to Jessica Williams and Vanessa Hudgens. Amina Niasse, Billboard, 30 Sep. 2022 His co-star Banks Repeta, who plays the young Paul, will be the sole actor submitted for lead consideration. Clayton Davis, Variety, 26 Sep. 2022 Billy Eichner continued his Bros press tour with co-star Luke Macfarlane and producer Judd Apatow at the New York premiere on Tuesday. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Sep. 2022 Oscar Isaac brings yet another marquee name to Marvel's growing roster of all-star talents with Moon Night. WIRED, 23 Sep. 2022 Eddie Marshall’s Blue Bamboo Big Band: Eddie Marshall, saxophonist/flutist/CEO of Time Out Productions, leads his all-star big band featuring 18 of the finest musicians in Central Florida. Amanda Kondolojy, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2022 The grind of the game grizzles more than a few and star power fades. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Sep. 2022 In the book, Rivera mentions that during her time on Glee, co-star Lea Michele refused to improvise scenes with veteran actor Tim Conway. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 18 Sep. 2022 With so many roles, as well as those of the game’s other characters, at play, keeping everything straight proved challenging on set, her co-star Hans Christopher explained. Darryn King, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 4


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

Learn More About star

Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near star



star anise

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for star

Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for star


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

More from Merriam-Webster on star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!