starry

starry
starry, stellar, astral, sidereal can mean of, referring to, or suggestive of a star or group of stars.
Starry is the ordinary nontechnical term, capable of being used in reference to stars of various kinds (as the celestial bodies known as stars or the geometrical figure with five, six, or more points that is the conventionalized star)
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a starry night

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a starry banner

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starry eyes

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here are the skies, the planets seven, and all the starry train— Housman

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starry towers of Babylon Noah's freshet never reached— Yeats

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Stellar has the same range of reference as starry, but, since the connotations of the words are not the same, they are rarely interchangeable; starry gathers its connotations (as of brilliancy, remoteness, and beauty) chiefly from the appearance of the celestial stars to the ordinary observer; stellar derives its suggestions chiefly from astrological lore of the stars as influencing all things and as shaping human destinies or from astronomical knowledge of the constitution, arrangement, and classification of stars; thus, one tends to speak of a stellar, rather than a starry, influence or aspect; of a stellar, rather than starry, eclipse or nebula
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these soft fires . . . shed down their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow on Earth— Milton

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Kapteyn worked nearly alone in the field of stellar astronomy—G. W. Gray

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Stellar is also used more often than starry of theatrical or cinematic stars
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stellar roles in operas and musical festivals— Current Biog.

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and it alone is freely used to imply outstanding quality or position in other relations
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a dependable working staff, and a stellar panel of consultants— Hartwell

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he just wasn't a stellar naval officer in the eyes of his subordinates— Lois & Don Thorburn

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Astral is in much of its use a technical term in theosophy and similar cults, and in more general use it is likely to bear connotations of spirituality, mysticism, and remoteness from the fleshly that derive largely from mythological and other conceptions of the stars as the abode of celestial spirits or of supersensible beings whose nature and constitution are rarer and finer than those of earthly human beings
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enchantments that unlock a crystal cage; an alphabet with astral fire seasoned— Wylie

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an astral thinker with disturbing, visionary thoughts of helping the whole world— Newsweek

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an astral myth

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a state of mind which may resemble that of a soul in its astral body looking back upon its corporeal one— Beebe

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Sidereal is sometimes interchangeable with the other terms
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walls of interlocked magnolias, sidereal with white, fragrant blossoms— Nat'l Geog. Mag.

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I felt that he was an Intelligence which had borrowed form and substance in deference to the requirements of sidereal politeness— Henry Miller

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but distinctively it is used in opposition to solar, especially as applied to periods of time measured by the rotation of the earth with reference to a given star; thus, the sidereal day, determined by reference to Aries, is 3 minutes and 55.91 seconds shorter, as measured in solar time, than the mean solar day.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Starry — Star ry (st[aum]r r[y^]), a. 1. Abounding with stars; adorned with stars. Above the starry sky. Pope. [1913 Webster] 2. Consisting of, or proceeding from, the stars; stellar; stellary; as, starry light; starry flame. [1913 Webster] Do not… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • starry — late 14c., from STAR (Cf. star) + Y (Cf. y) (2). Starry eyed unrealistically optimistic is attested from 1884; earlier descriptive of bright eyes …   Etymology dictionary

  • starry — index stellar Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • starry — ► ADJECTIVE (starrier, starriest) 1) full of or lit by stars. 2) informal relating to stars in entertainment …   English terms dictionary

  • starry — [stär′ē] adj. starrier, starriest 1. set or marked with stars 2. shining like stars; bright 3. shaped like a star 4. lighted by or full of stars 5. of or coming from the stars 6. of, from, or like s …   English World dictionary

  • starry — adjective /ˈstɑː.ɹi/ a) Having stars visible. Starry starry night, Portraits hung in empty halls, Frameless heads on nameless walls, With eyes that watch the world and cant forget a song about called Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) b) Shaped like… …   Wiktionary

  • starry — starriness, n. /stahr ee/, adj., starrier, starriest. 1. abounding with stars: a starry night. 2. of, pertaining to, or proceeding from the stars. 3. of the nature of or consisting of stars: starry worlds. 4. resembling a star; star shaped or… …   Universalium

  • starry — star|ry [ˈsta:ri] adj 1.) having many stars ▪ a starry winter sky 2.) starry eyes shine brightly 3.) bright like a star or shaped like a star ▪ white starry flowers …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • starry — UK [ˈstɑːrɪ] / US [ˈstɑrɪ] adjective Word forms starry : adjective starry comparative starrier superlative starriest a starry sky or night is one where a lot of stars can be seen in the sky …   English dictionary

  • starry — /ˈstari/ (say stahree) adjective (starrier, starriest) 1. having many stars or lit by stars: a starry sky. 2. of, relating to, or proceeding from the stars. 3. of the nature of or consisting of stars: starry worlds. 4. resembling a star; star… …  

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