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star (stär)
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n.
1.
a. A celestial body that generates light and other radiant energy and consists of a mass of gas held together by its own gravity in which the energy generated by nuclear reactions in the interior is balanced by the outflow of energy to the surface, and the inward-directed gravitational forces are balanced by the outward-directed gas and radiation pressures.
b. Any of the celestial bodies visible at night from Earth as relatively stationary, usually twinkling points of light.
c. Something regarded as resembling such a celestial body.
2. A graphic design having five or more radiating points, often used as a symbol of rank or merit.
3.
a. An artistic performer or athlete whose leading role or superior performance is acknowledged.
b. One who is highly celebrated in a field or profession.
4.
a. An asterisk (*).
b. The star key on a telephone: For customer service, press star.
5. A white spot on the forehead of a horse.
6. A planet or constellation of the zodiac believed in astrology to influence personal destiny.
7. stars The future; destiny. Often used with the.
adj.
1. Outstanding or famous, especially in performing something: a star researcher; a star figure skater.
2. Of or relating to a star or stars.
v. starred, star·ring, stars
v.tr.
1.
a. To ornament with stars.
b. To award or mark with a star for excellence.
2. To mark with an asterisk.
3. To present or feature (a performer) in a leading role.
v.intr.
1. To play the leading role in a theatrical or film production.
2. To do an outstanding job; perform excellently.
Idioms:
have stars in (one's) eyes
To be dazzled or enraptured, as with romantic love.
see stars
To experience bright, flashing sensations, as from a blow to the head.

[Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; see ster-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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