I. star 1 S2 W2 /stɑː $ stɑːr/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: steorra ]
1 . IN THE SKY a large ball of burning gas in space that can be seen at night as a point of light in the sky ⇨ constellation , galaxy , supernova :
I lay on my back and looked up at the stars.
The sky was filled with stars.
The stars were shining.
The stars were all out (=they were shining) .
The stars were twinkling overhead (=shining and quickly changing from bright to faint) .
under the stars (=outdoors at night)
sitting around a campfire under the stars
⇨ ↑ falling star , ↑ morning star , ↑ shooting star
2 . FAMOUS PERFORMER/PLAYER a famous and successful actor, musician, or sports player:
By the age of 20, she was already a big star (=a very famous and successful performer) .
a pop/movie/TV/football etc star
He is a rising star (=someone who is becoming famous and successful) in the music world.
She’s a good actress but she lacks star quality (=a special quality that could make someone a star) .
3 . MAIN PERSON IN A FILM/PLAY ETC the person who has the main part, or one of them, in a film, play, show etc
Ray Grimes, the star of the television series ‘Brother John’
4 . BEST/MOST SUCCESSFUL PERSON
a) the person who gives the best performance in a film, play, show etc:
Laporte, as Ebenezer Scrooge, is undoubtedly the star of the show.
Shamu, the killer whale, is the show’s star attraction (=best and most popular person or thing) .
b) the best or most successful person in a group of players, workers, students etc
star player/performer/salesman etc
the team’s star player
the school’s star pupil
the star columnist of ‘The Sunday Times’
5 . SHAPE
a) a shape with four or more points, which represents the way a star looks in the sky
b) a mark in the shape of a star, used to draw attention to something written SYN asterisk :
I put a star next to the items that we still need to buy.
c) a piece of cloth or metal in the shape of a star, worn to show someone’s rank or position – used especially on military uniforms:
a four-star general
6 . HOTELS/RESTAURANTS a mark used in a system for judging the quality of hotels and restaurants
a two-star hotel
7 . the stars British English informal a description, usually printed in newspapers and magazines, of what will happen to you in the future, based on the position of the stars and ↑ planet s at the time of your birth SYN horoscope
I never read my stars.
⇨ ↑ star sign
8 . something is written in the stars used to say that what happens to a person is controlled by ↑ fate (=a power that is believed to influence what happens in people’s lives) :
Their marriage was surely written in the stars.
9 . see stars to see flashes of light, especially because you have been hit on the head:
I felt a little dizzy and could see stars.
10 . have stars in your eyes to imagine that something you want to do is much more exciting or attractive than it really is ⇨ ↑ starry-eyed
11 . you’re a star!/what a star! British English spoken said when you are very grateful or pleased because of what someone has done:
Thanks, Mel. You’re a real star!
⇨ guiding star at ↑ guiding (2), ⇨ born under a lucky/unlucky star at ↑ born 2 (7), ⇨ reach for the stars at ↑ reach 1 (11), ⇨ thank your lucky stars at ↑ thank (3)
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
▪ a star shines
I looked up and saw hundreds of stars shining in the sky.
▪ a star twinkles (=shines with an unsteady light)
Stars began to twinkle in the darkening night sky.
▪ stars appear/come out (=appear in the sky)
We arrived home just as the stars were coming out.
▪ the stars are out (=they are shining)
There was a full moon, and the stars were out.
▪ look up at the stars
I had spent a lot of time looking up at the stars as a kid.
▪ sleep under the stars (=in a place with no roof)
In the desert, they slept out under the stars.
the brightest star in the night sky
The star is faint but visible.
▪ a distant star (=very far away)
He stared up towards the distant stars.
▪ a cluster of stars (=a small group of stars close together in the sky)
He fixed his telescope on a tiny little cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + star
▪ a big star (=a very famous and successful star)
He has worked with some of the world’s biggest stars.
▪ a movie/Hollywood star ( also a film star especially British English )
He looked like a movie star.
▪ a pop/rock star
Who’s your favourite pop star?
▪ a TV star
Most TV stars do quite a lot of charity work.
▪ a soap star (=a star in a television soap opera)
She was known as a soap star before she took up singing.
▪ a sports/football/basketball etc star
Sam was a football star in college.
▪ an international star (=a star who is famous in many countries)
His performance in 'The Titanic' made him an international star.
▪ a rising star (=someone who is becoming famous and successful)
She is very much the rising star of Black American fiction.
▪ a child star (=a child who is a famous performer)
The production team say they have been careful to look after all their child stars.
■ star + NOUN
▪ star quality (=a special quality that could make someone a star)
She radiates genuine star quality.
▪ star treatment (=special treatment that a star gets)
Winners get star treatment from the media.
▪ a star vehicle (=a film or television programme that is intended to show the abilities of one particular star)
He denied that the movie was just a star vehicle for Tom Hanks.
▪ a star of stage and screen (=a star who has been in plays and films)
Now this much-loved star of stage and screen has been made a Dame.
• • •
THESAURUS (for Meaning 1)
■ in the sky
▪ star a large ball of burning gas in space, which can be seen at night as a point of light in the sky:
The dark night sky was clear and full of stars.
▪ planet one of the large objects that goes around the sun, for example the Earth, Saturn, Mercury, or Mars:
The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781.
▪ sun the star that gives us light and heat, around which the planets move. There are also many millions of other suns in the universe:
The sun came out from behind a cloud.
a dying sun
▪ moon the round object that moves around the Earth every 28 days, or a similar object that goes around another planet:
The moon rose in the night sky.
Titan is one of the moons of Saturn.
▪ asteroid a mass of rock that moves around the sun. Most asteroids are found between Jupiter and Mars:
the asteroid belt
▪ pulsar a type of star that is far away in space and produces ↑ radiation and RADIO WAVES
▪ quasar an object like a star that is far away in space and shines extremely brightly
▪ supernova a very large exploding star
▪ constellation a group of stars that forms a particular pattern and has a name:
The constellation of Orion is one of the most easily recognizable patterns of stars in the night sky.
▪ galaxy one of the large groups of stars that make up the universe:
Astronomers have detected a galaxy 11 billion light years away.
▪ the universe all space, including all the stars and planets:
How many planets in the universe have life?
• • •
THESAURUS (for Meaning 2)
■ a famous person
▪ star a famous and successful actor, musician, or sports person:
She dreamed of becoming a movie star.
a talent show to find the stars of the future
▪ celebrity someone who often appears in newspapers, on television etc and is well-known to the public. Celebrities are often famous for being famous, not because they have any great ↑ talent :
The magazine is full of gossip about celebrities.
▪ name a famous person whose name is known by many people – used especially in the following expressions:
All the big names in football were at the awards dinner.
Giorgio Armani is one of the most famous names in fashion.
He is yet to become a household name (=someone who everyone has heard of) .
▪ personality an entertainer or sports player who is famous and often appears in the newspapers, on television etc. – used especially in the following phrases:
Many advertisers use TV personalities to promote their products.
He was chosen as sports personality of the year.
■ a very famous person
▪ superstar an extremely famous performer, especially a musician or film actor:
The film made Tom Cruise an international superstar.
▪ legend someone who is famous and admired for being extremely good at doing something – used especially about people who are at the end of a long career or who have died:
blues legend John Lee Hooker
Jane Fonda is the daughter of film legend Henry Fonda.
▪ great [usually plural] someone who was one of the best players or performers that there have ever been:
He was one of the all-time soccer greats.
II. star 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle starred , present participle starring )
1 . [intransitive] if someone stars in a film, television show etc, they are one of the main characters in it
Eastwood starred in ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’.
DeVito stars opposite Dreyfuss in the movie.
Hugh Grant stars as the romantic hero.
‘The Freshman’ was Brando’s first starring role (=the most important part in a film) in ten years.
2 . [transitive] if a film, television show, or play stars someone, that person is one of the main characters in it SYN feature :
a film starring Meryl Streep
star somebody as ...
The movie starred Orson Welles as Harry Lime.
3 . [transitive usually passive] to put an ↑ asterisk (=a star-shaped mark) next to something written:
The starred items are available.