Found 2 items, similar to variable star.
English → English
Definition: variable star
n : a star that varies noticeably in brightness [syn: variable
English → English
Definition: Variable star
(st[aum]r), n. [OE. sterre, AS. steorra; akin to
OFries. stera, OS. sterro, D. ster, OHG. sterno, sterro, G.
stern, Icel. stjarna, Sw. stjerna, Dan. stierne, Goth.
sta['i]rn[=o], Armor. & Corn. steren, L. stella, Gr. 'asth`r,
'a`stron, Skr. star; perhaps from a root meaning, to scatter,
Skr. st[.r], L. sternere (cf. Stratum
), and originally
applied to the stars as being strewn over the sky, or as
being scatterers or spreaders of light. [root]296. Cf.
1. One of the innumerable luminous bodies seen in the
heavens; any heavenly body other than the sun, moon,
comets, and nebul[ae].
His eyen twinkled in his head aright,
As do the stars in the frosty night. --Chaucer.
Note: The stars are distinguished as planets
, and fixed stars
. See Planet
, Fixed stars
Magnitude of a star
2. The polestar; the north star. --Shak.
3. (Astrol.) A planet supposed to influence one's destiny;
(usually pl.) a configuration of the planets, supposed to
O malignant and ill-brooding stars. --Shak.
Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury. --Addison.
4. That which resembles the figure of a star, as an ornament
worn on the breast to indicate rank or honor.
On whom . . .
Lavish Honor showered all her stars. --Tennyson.
5. Specifically, a radiated mark in writing or printing; an
asterisk [thus, *]; -- used as a reference to a note, or
to fill a blank where something is omitted, etc.
6. (Pyrotechny) A composition of combustible matter used in
the heading of rockets, in mines, etc., which, exploding
in the air, presents a starlike appearance.
7. A person of brilliant and attractive qualities, especially
on public occasions, as a distinguished orator, a leading
theatrical performer, etc.
Note: Star is used in the formation of compound words
generally of obvious signification; as, star-aspiring,
star-bespangled, star-bestudded, star-blasting,
star-bright, star-crowned, star-directed, star-eyed,
star-headed, star-paved, star-roofed, star-sprinkled,
, Double star
, Multiple star
, Shooting star
, etc. See under Blazing
(Astron.), a small well-defined circular
nebula, having a bright nucleus at its center like a star.
(Bot.), any plant of the genus Illicium; -- so
called from its star-shaped capsules.
(Bot.), a tropical American tree (Chrysophyllum Cainito
), having a milky juice and oblong leaves with a
silky-golden pubescence beneath. It bears an applelike
fruit, the carpels of which present a starlike figure when
cut across. The name is extended to the whole genus of
about sixty species, and the natural order
) to which it belongs is called the
, one who cons, or studies, the stars; an
astronomer or an astrologer. --Gascoigne.
(Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of stony
corals belonging to Astr[ae]a
, and allied
genera, in which the calicles are round or polygonal and
contain conspicuous radiating septa.
. (Bot.) See under Cucumber
(a) A plant of the genus Ornithogalum
(b) See Starwort
(c) An American plant of the genus Trientalis
(Fort.), a fort surrounded on the exterior with
projecting angles; -- whence the name.
(Ordnance), a long rod, with adjustable points
projecting radially at its end, for measuring the size of
different parts of the bore of a gun.
(a) A small grasslike plant (Hypoxis erecta
star-shaped yellow flowers.
(b) The colicroot. See Colicroot
(Bot.), a bulbous plant of the genus Scilla
); -- called also star-headed hyacinth
(Bot.), any one of several gelatinous plants
, N. edule
, etc.). See Nostoc
. (Zo["o]l.) Same as Stellion
(Bot.), a bulbous liliaceous plant
) having a small white starlike
(Bot.), a plant of the genus P
), growing upon the seashore.
(Geom.), a polygon whose sides cut each other
so as to form a star-shaped figure.
Stars and Stripes
, a popular name for the flag of the
United States, which consists of thirteen horizontal
stripes, alternately red and white, and a union having, in
a blue field, white stars to represent the several States,
one for each.
With the old flag, the true American flag, the
Eagle, and the Stars and Stripes, waving over the
chamber in which we sit. --D. Webster.
. See Shooting star
, under Shooting
(Bot.), an annual composite plant (Centaurea solstitialis
) having the involucre armed with stout
(Mach.), a star-shaped disk, used as a kind of
ratchet wheel, in repeating watches and the feed motions
of some machines.
(Zo["o]l.), a gephyrean.
(Astron.), a star which appears suddenly,
shines for a period, and then nearly or quite disappears.
These stars were supposed by some astronomers to be
variable stars of long and undetermined periods. More
recently, variations star in start intensity are
classified more specifically, and this term is now
obsolescent. See also nova
(Astron.), a star whose brilliancy varies
periodically, generally with regularity, but sometimes
irregularly; -- called periodical star
when its changes
occur at fixed periods.
Water star grass
(Bot.), an aquatic plant (Schollera graminea
) with small yellow starlike blossoms.