Definitions

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

  • n. Astronomy Any of numerous small celestial bodies that revolve around the sun, with orbits lying chiefly between Mars and Jupiter and characteristic diameters between a few and several hundred kilometers. Also called minor planet, planetoid.
  • n. Zoology See starfish.
  • adj. Star-shaped.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A naturally occurring solid object, which is smaller than a planet and is not a comet, that orbits a star
  • n. In the Solar system, such a body that orbits within the orbit of Jupiter
  • n. Any member of the taxonomic class Asteroidea; a starfish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A starlike body; esp. one of the numerous small planets whose orbits lie between those of Mars and Jupiter; -- called also planetoids and minor planets.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Star-like.
  • Having a flower like that of an aster.
  • n. One of the small planets, 280 or more in number, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter: more accurately called planetoids. See planetoid.
  • n. One of the Asteroidea; a starfish, in a wide sense.

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

  • adj. shaped like a star
  • n. any of numerous small celestial bodies composed of rock and metal that move around the sun (mainly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter)

Etymologies

From Greek asteroeidēs, starlike : astēr, star; see ster-3 in Indo-European roots + -oeidēs, -oid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀστεροειδής, from Ancient Greek ἀστήρ (astēr, "star") + εἶδος (eidos, "form"). (Wiktionary)

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