Definition of stela in English:


Syllabification: ste·la
Pronunciation: /ˈstēlə

noun (plural stelae /-ˌlē/)

  • An upright stone slab or column typically bearing a commemorative inscription or relief design, often serving as a gravestone.
    More example sentences
    • Scribes carved hieroglyphs on stone stelae, altars, wooden lintels, and roof beams, or painted them on ceramic vessels and in books made of bark paper.
    • The sites are fascinating for their pyramids, sculpture, frescoes and stelae (carved stone slabs depicting various ceremonies).
    • Many of these Han burials were readily identifiable by inscribed stone stelae, tablets recording the name, titles, and dates of the deceased.


late 18th century: via Latin from Greek (see stele).

More definitions of stela

Definition of stela in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody