From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Galaxy \Gal"ax*y\, n.; pl. Galaxies. [F. galaxie, L. galaxias,
   fr. Gr. ? (sc. ? circle), fr. ?, ?, milk; akin to L. lac. Cf.
   [1913 Webster]
   1. (Astron.)

   1. The Milky Way, that luminous tract, or belt, which is seen
      at night stretching across the heavens, and which is
      composed of innumerable stars, so distant and blended as
      to be distinguishable only with the telescope. --Nichol.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A very large collection of stars comparable in size to the
      Milky Way system, held together by gravitational force and
      separated from other such star systems by large distances
      of mostly empty space. Galaxies vary widely in shape and
      size, the most common nearby galaxies being over 70,000
      light years in diameter and separated from each other by
      even larger distances. The number of stars in one galaxy
      varies, and may extend into the hundreds of billions.

   3. A splendid or impressive assemblage of persons or things;
      as, a galaxy of movie stars.
      [1913 Webster + PJC] Galban
Feedback Form