from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various plants of the genus Aster in the composite family, having radiate flower heads with white, pink, or violet rays and a usually yellow disk.
  • n. The China aster.
  • n. Biology A star-shaped structure formed in the cytoplasm of a cell and having raylike fibers that surround the centrosome during mitosis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A star.
  • n. Any of several plants of the genus Aster; one of its flowers.
  • n. A star-shaped structure formed during the mitosis of a cell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of herbs with compound white or bluish flowers; starwort; Michaelmas daisy.
  • n. A plant of the genus Callistephus. Many varieties (called China asters, German asters, etc.) are cultivated for their handsome compound flowers.
  • n. A star-shaped figure of achromatic substance found chiefly in cells dividing by mitosis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A star.
  • n. A plant of the genus Aster.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A large genus of plants, natural order Compositæ, natives of Europe, Asia, and America, but chiefly of North America, about 120 species occurring in the United States.
  • n. A name of plants of some allied genera, as the Cape aster (Agathæa amelloides), the China aster (Callistephus Chinensis), the false aster (Boltonia), the golden aster (Chrysopsis), and the white-topped aster (Sericocarpus).—5. In biology, a karyokinetic figure intervening in time between the rosette and the diaster during the changes in the nucleus of a cell. See diaster and karyokinesis.
  • n. In ornithology, same as Astur.
  • n. A suffix of Latin origin, forming contemptuous diminutives, as in criticaster, poetaster. It occurs without recognized diminutive force in pinaster, oleaster (which see).
  • n. In sponges, a multiactinate microsclere: same as euaster.
  • n. In cytology, the star-shaped structure at either pole of the karyokinetic figure during cell-division: same as karyaster (which see).
  • n. Two small arches of precious metal, transversely riveted (said to have been invented by St. John Chrysostom), placed over the sacred wafer in the paten in preparation for the eucharistic sacrifice, to prevent the veil from touching it: now out of use.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. star-shaped structure formed in the cytoplasm of a cell having fibers like rays that surround the centrosome during mitosis
  • n. any of various chiefly fall-blooming herbs of the genus Aster with showy daisylike flowers


Latin astēr, a type of plant, from Greek, star, type of daisy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aster, from Ancient Greek ἀστήρ. (Wiktionary)



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