Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In ornithology, same as Astur.
  • noun A suffix of Latin origin, forming contemptuous diminutives, as in criticaster, poetaster. It occurs without recognized diminutive force in pinaster, oleaster (which see).
  • noun A star.
  • noun A plant of the genus Aster.
  • noun [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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In sponges, a multiactinate microsclere: same as euaster.
  • noun In cytology, the star-shaped structure at either pole of the karyokinetic figure during cell-division: same as karyaster (which see).
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin astēr, a type of plant, from Greek, star, type of daisy; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin aster, from Ancient Greek ἀστήρ.

Examples

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