Definition of galaxy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡaləksē/

noun (plural galaxies)

1A system of millions or billions of stars, together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.
Example sentences
  • There are reckoned to be about 400 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way.
  • New planetary star systems and galaxies are being discovered almost daily.
  • Or it may expand so fast that gravity could never pull galaxies together again.
1.1 (the Galaxy) The galaxy of which the solar system is a part; the Milky Way.
Example sentences
  • And he needs to be president of the Galaxy to do it.
  • We realized that our Galaxy was just one of many billions of galaxies in the universe.
  • On another note, this story takes place now, just in a different part of the galaxy.
1.2A large group of impressive people or things: the four musicians have played with a galaxy of stars
More example sentences
  • To create his galaxy of impressions, Baxter watched television avidly, even backstage between stage shows.
  • The official website is now a positive galaxy of useful stuff.
  • RSS-fortified radio on mobile phones opens a whole galaxy of possibilities.

The Galaxy in which the earth is located is a disk-shaped spiral galaxy with approximately 100,000 million stars. The sun is located about two thirds of the way out from the center.


Late Middle English (originally referring to the Milky Way): via Old French from medieval Latin galaxia, from Greek galaxias (kuklos) 'milky (vault)', from gala, galakt- 'milk'.

  • If you look into the sky on a dark moonless night you can see a band of pale light crossing the sky, made up of vast numbers of faint stars that appear to be packed closely together. This is the Milky Way, a direct translation of what the Romans called via lactea. The Greeks were also reminded of milk and named it galaxias kuklos ‘the milky vault’, from gala ‘milk’, the origin of our word galaxy. It was adopted into medieval English and at first referred specifically to the Milky Way, though later it applied to any system of millions of stars. In current sporting usage, especially in football, galactico is a term for one of a team's superstar players. A Spanish word, it is chiefly associated with the club Real Madrid, whose high-profile signings Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Lima, and David Beckham were collectively dubbed Los Galácticos, literally ‘the galactics’, because they were ‘bigger than stars’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gal·ax·y

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