Star Wars (n.) Look up Star Wars at
name of a popular science fiction film released in 1977; also the informal name for a space-based missile defense system proposed in 1983 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
star-fruit (n.) Look up star-fruit at
Damasonium stellatum, 1857, from star (n.) + fruit (n.). So called for its shape.
star-gazer (n.) Look up star-gazer at
1550s, from star (n.) + agent noun from gaze (v.). Related: Star-gazing (n., 1570s); star-gaze (v., 1620s).
star-lit (adj.) Look up star-lit at
1813, from star (n.) + lit (adj.).
star-shine (n.) Look up star-shine at
1580s, from star (n.) + shine (n.).
star-spangled (adj.) Look up star-spangled at
1590s, from star (n.) + spangle (v.); Star-Spangled Banner "United States flag" is 1814, from Francis Scott Key's poem (printed in the "Baltimore Patriot" Sept. 20).
starboard (n.) Look up starboard at
Old English steorbord, literally "steer-board, side on which a vessel was steered," from steor "rudder, steering paddle," from Proto-Germanic *steuro "a steering" (compare German Steuer), from PIE *steu-, secondary form of root *sta- "to stand" (see stet) + bord "ship's side" (see board (n.2)). Similar formation in Old Norse stjornborði, Low German stürbord, Dutch stuurboord, German Steuerbord.

Early Germanic peoples' boats were propelled and steered by a paddle on the right side. The opposite side of the ship sometimes in Germanic was the "back-board" (Old English bæcbord). French tribord (Old French estribord), Italian stribordo "starboard" are Germanic loan-words.
starch (v.) Look up starch at
late 14c., from Old English *stercan (Mercian), *stiercan (West Saxon) "make rigid," found in stercedferhð "fixed, hard, resolute" (related to stearc "stiff"), from Proto-Germanic *starkijan "to make hard" (cognates: German Stärke "strength, starch," Swedish stärka "to starch"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "strong, firm, stiff, rigid" (see stark). Related: Starched; starching.
starch (n.) Look up starch at
"pasty substance used to stiffen cloth," mid-15c., back-formation from starch (v.). Figurative sense of "stiffness of manner" is recorded from 1705.
starchy (adj.) Look up starchy at
1795, from starch (n.) + -y (2). Related: Starchily; starchiness.
stardom (n.) Look up stardom at
1860 in reference to celebrity, from star (n.) + -dom. From 1856 in reference to the celestial sort.
stardust (n.) Look up stardust at
also star-dust, 1836 in reference to irresolvable nebulas among star-fields in telescopic views; 1868 as "meteoric dust," from star (n.) + dust (n.).
stare (v.) Look up stare at
Old English starian "to stare, gaze, look fixedly at," from Proto-Germanic *staren "be rigid" (cognates: Old Norse stara, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch staren, Old High German staren, German starren "to stare at;" German starren "to stiffen," starr "stiff;" Old Norse storr "proud;" Old High German storren "to stand out, project;" Gothic andstaurran "to be obstinate"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "strong, firm, stiff, rigid" (see stereo- and compare torpor).

Not originally implying rudeness. To stare (someone) down is from 1848. Related: Stared; staring.
stare (n.2) Look up stare at
"starling," from Old English (see starling).
stare (n.1) Look up stare at
late 14c., "power of sight," from stare (v.). From c. 1700 as "a fixed gaze."
stare decisis (n.) Look up stare decisis at
the legal doctrine of being bound by precedents, Latin, literally "to stand by things decided" (see stet + decisive).
starfish (n.) Look up starfish at
also star-fish, 1530s, from star (n.) + fish (n.).
stark (adj.) Look up stark at
Old English stearc "stiff, strong, rigid, obstinate; stern, severe, hard; harsh, rough, violent," from Proto-Germanic *starkaz (cognates: Old Norse sterkr, Danish, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff, rigid" (see stereo-). From the same root as stare (v.).

Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c. 1400, perhaps from influence of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adjective. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. As an adverb from c. 1200. Related: Starkly; starkness. Stark-raving (adj.) is from 1640s; earlier stark-staring 1530s.
stark-naked (adj.) Look up stark-naked at
1520s, deformed (by influence of stark (adj.)) from Middle English start naked (early 13c.), from Old English steort "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *stertaz (cognates: Old Norse stertr, Danish stjert, Middle Dutch stert, Dutch staart, Old High German sterz, German Sterz), from PIE *sterd-, extended form of root *ster- (1) "stiff, rigid, firm, strong" (see stereo-). Hence British slang starkers "naked" (1923).
starless (adj.) Look up starless at
late 14c., from star (n.) + -less.
starlet (n.) Look up starlet at
1825, "small star," from star (n.) + diminutive suffix -let. Meaning "promising young female performer" is from 1911 [Italian soprano Emma Trentini (1878-1959), so called in "The Theatre" magazine, March 1911].
starlight (n.) Look up starlight at
also star-light, late 14c., from star (n.) + light (n.).
starling (n.) Look up starling at
"Sturnus vulgaris," Old English stærlinc "starling," with diminutive suffix -linc + stær "starling," from Proto-Germanic *staraz (cognates: Old English stearn, Old Norse stari, Norwegian stare, Old High German stara, German star "starling"), from PIE *storo- "starling" (cognates: Latin sturnus "starling," Old Prussian starnite "gull").
starry (adj.) Look up starry at
late 14c., from star (n.) + -y (2). Starry-eyed "unrealistically optimistic" is attested from 1884; earlier descriptive of bright eyes. Related: Starrily; starriness.
Stars and Stripes (n.) Look up Stars and Stripes at
"American flag," attested from 1782. Stars and Bars as a name for the Confederate flag is attested from 1863.
starscape (n.) Look up starscape at
1883, from star (n.) + scape (n.1).
starship (n.) Look up starship at
"space ship," 1934 (in "Astounding Stories"), from star (n.) + ship (n.). Earlier in reference to celebrity.
start (v.) Look up start at
Old English *steortian, *stiertan, Kentish variants of styrtan "to leap up" (related to starian "to stare"), from Proto-Germanic *stert- (cognates: Old Frisian stirta "to fall, tumble," Middle Dutch sterten, Dutch storten "to rush, fall," Old High German sturzen, German stürzen "to hurl, throw, plunge"), of uncertain origin. According to Watkins, the notion is "move briskly, move swiftly," and it is from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff."

From "move or spring suddenly," sense evolved by late 14c. to "awaken suddenly, flinch or recoil in alarm," and by 1660s to "cause to begin acting or operating." Meaning "begin to move, leave, depart" (without implication of suddenness) is from 1821. The connection probably is from sporting senses ("to force an animal from its lair," late 14c.). Transitive sense of "set in motion or action" is from 1670s; specifically as "to set (machinery) in action" from 1841.

Related: Started; starting. To start something "cause trouble" is 1915, American English colloquial. To start over "begin again" is from 1912. Starting-line in running is from 1855; starting-block in running first recorded 1937.
start (n.) Look up start at
late 14c., "an involuntary movement of the body, a sudden jump," from start (v.). Meaning "act of beginning to move or act" is from 1560s. Meaning "act of beginning to build a house" is from 1946. That of "opportunity at the beginning of a career or course of action" is from 1849. Paired with finish (n.) at least from 1839. False start first attested 1850.
start-up (n.) Look up start-up at
also startup, 1550s, "upstart," from verbal phrase (attested from c. 1200 in sense "rise up;" 1590s as "come suddenly into being"); see start (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "action of starting up" is from 1845. See start (v.) + up (adv.).
starter (n.) Look up starter at
c. 1400, stertour "instigator; one who starts," agent noun from start (v.). Mechanical sense is from 1875. For starters "to begin with" is 1873, American English colloquial. Starter home is from 1976; starter set is from 1946, originally of china.
startle (v.) Look up startle at
c. 1300, "run to and fro" (intransitive), frequentative of sterten (see start (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly in surprise or fear" first recorded 1520s. Transitive meaning "frighten suddenly" is from 1590s. The word retains more of the original meaning of start (v.). Related: Startled; startling; startlingly. As a noun from 1714.
starvation (n.) Look up starvation at
1778, hybrid noun of action from starve. Famously (but not certainly) introduced in English by Henry Dundas during debate in the House of Commons in 1775 on American affairs. It earned him the nickname "Starvation Dundas," though sources disagree on whether this was given in objection to the harshness of his suggestion of starving the rebels into submission or in derision at the barbarous formation of the word. It is one of the earliest instances of -ation used with a native Germanic word (flirtation is earlier).
As to Lord Chatham, the victories, conquests, extension of our empire within these last five years, will annihilate his fame of course, and he may be replaced by Starvation Dundas, whose pious policy suggested that the devil of rebellion could be expelled only by fasting, though that never drove him out of Scotland. [Horace Walpole, letter to the Rev. William Mason, April 25, 1781]
starve (v.) Look up starve at
Old English steorfan "to die" (past tense stearf, past participle storfen), literally "become stiff," from Proto-Germanic *sterban "be stiff" (cognates: Old Frisian sterva, Old Saxon sterban, Dutch sterven, Old High German sterban "to die," Old Norse stjarfi "tetanus"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff, rigid" (see stereo-).

The conjugation became weak in English by 16c. The sense narrowed to "die of cold" (14c.); transitive meaning "to kill with hunger" is first recorded 1520s (earlier to starve of hunger, early 12c.). Intransitive sense of "to die of hunger" dates from 1570s. German cognate sterben retains the original sense of the word, but the English has come so far from its origins that starve to death (1910) is now common.
starveling (n.) Look up starveling at
"starving or starved person," 1540s, from starve (v.) + diminutive suffix -ling. As an adjective, "weak from hunger," from 1590s.
stash (v.) Look up stash at
"to conceal, hide," 1797, criminals' slang, of unknown origin, perhaps a blend of stow and cache. Related: Stashed; stashing.
stash (n.) Look up stash at
"hoard, cache," 1914, from stash (v.). Slang sense of "personal supply of narcotics" is from 1942.
stasis (n.) Look up stasis at
"stoppage of circulation," 1745, from medical Latin, from Greek stasis "a standing still, a standing; the posture of standing; a position, a point of the compass; position, state, or condition of anything;" also "a party, a company, a sect," especially one for seditious purposes; related to statos "placed," verbal adjective of histemi "cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
stat (n.) Look up stat at
"instrument that keeps something stationary," before 1970, shortened form of Latin statim (adv.) "steadily, regularly; at once, immediately," from status (see state (n.1)). Perhaps originally "to a standstill." As an abbreviation of statistic, from 1961. Related: Stats.
state (n.1) Look up state at
c. 1200, "circumstances, position in society, temporary attributes of a person or thing, conditions," from Old French estat "position, condition; status, stature, station," and directly from Latin status "a station, position, place; way of standing, posture; order, arrangement, condition," figuratively "standing, rank; public order, community organization," noun of action from past participle stem of stare "to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Some Middle English senses are via Old French estat (French état; see estate).

The Latin word was adopted into other modern Germanic languages (German, Dutch staat) but chiefly in the political senses only. Meaning "physical condition as regards form or structure" is attested from late 13c. Meaning "mental or emotional condition" is attested from 1530s (phrase state of mind first attested 1749); colloquial sense of "agitated or perturbed state" is from 1837.
He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. [U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section iii]
state (v.) Look up state at
1590s, "to set in a position," from state (n.1); the sense of "declare in words" is first attested 1640s, from the notion of "placing" something on the record. Related: Stated; stating.
state (n.2) Look up state at
"political organization of a country, supreme civil power, government," c. 1300, from special use of state (n.1); this sense grew out of the meaning "condition of a country" with regard to government, prosperity, etc. (late 13c.), from Latin phrases such as status rei publicæ "condition (or existence) of the republic."

The sense of "a semi-independent political entity under a federal authority, one of the bodies politic which together make up a federal republic" is from 1774. The British North American colonies occasionally were called states as far back as 1630s; the States has been short for "the United States of America" since 1777; also of the Netherlands. State rights in U.S. political sense is attested from 1798; form states rights is first recorded 1858. Church and state have been contrasted from 1580s. State-socialism attested from 1850.
state-house (n.) Look up state-house at
1630s, American English, "a building used for public business," from state (n.2) + house (n.).
state-of-the-art (adj.) Look up state-of-the-art at
1961, from noun phrase (1816), from state (n.1) + art (n.).
statecraft (n.) Look up statecraft at
"the art of government," 1640s, from state (n.2) + craft (n.).
statehood (n.) Look up statehood at
1819, from state (n.) + -hood.
stateless (adj.) Look up stateless at
c. 1600, from state (n.2) + -less. Related: Statelessly; statelessness.
stately (adj.) Look up stately at
"noble, splendid," late 14c., from -ly (1) + state (n.1) in a sense of "costly and imposing display" (such as benefits a person of rank and wealth), attested from early 14c. This sense also is preserved in the phrase to lie in state "to be ceremoniously exposed to view before interment" (1705). Hence also stateroom. Related: Stateliness.
statement (n.) Look up statement at
1775, "what is stated," from state (v.) + -ment. From 1789 as "action of stating;" 1885 in the commercial sense "document displaying debits and credits."
stater (n.) Look up stater at
ancient coin, late 14c., from Greek stater, from histanai "to fix, to place in a balance," hence "to weigh;" literally "to cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, set down, make or be firm" (see stet). Once the name of a specific issue of coin, in ancient Greece it became a general name for the principal or standard coin in any place.