stele

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See also: stèle

English[edit]

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The funerary stele (gravestone) of Pollis (c. 480 BC), a Megaran hoplite.

Etymology 1[edit]

A parallel etymology to stale (a handle, shaft, stem), distinguished via ablaut.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stele (plural steles)

  1. Obsolete form of stale (handle, shaft, stem).

Etymology 2[edit]

From Ancient Greek στήλη (stḗlē, upright rock; pillar; column), plural form στῆλαι (stêlai).

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Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stele (plural steles or stelai)

  1. (archaeology) An upright (or formerly upright) slab containing engraved or painted decorations or inscriptions; a stela
    • 1820, T. S. Hughes, Trav. Sicily, I x 303
      A superior class of members...had their names inscribed upon a marble stélé or column.
    • 1825, T. D. Fosbroke, Encycl. Antiq., I v 70
      It appears, that when any one of the family died, a stelè to his memory was added to the tomb.
    • 1847, J. Leitch translating C. O. Müller, Anc. Art, §224 193
      In Egypt [obelisks] belonged to the class of steles (commemorative pillars).
    • 1884, A. Lang, Custom & Myth, 285
      The Australian stele, or grave-pillar.
  2. (archaeology, uncommon) Any carved or engraved surface
    • 1877, A. B. Edwards, Thousand Miles up Nile, VI 143
      Two large hieroglyphed steles incised upon the face of a projecting mass of boldly rounded cliff.
  3. (architecture, archaeology, obsolete) An acroterion, the decoration on the ridge of an ancient Greek building such as a temple
    • c. 1840, Hosking, "Architecture" in Encyclopædia Britannica, III 470
      Stele. The ornaments on the ridge of a Greek temple, answering to the antefixæ on the summit of the flank entablatures, are thus designated.
Usage notes[edit]

Although stela and stele were used in antiquity for pillars and columns generally and continued to carry that meaning when their use was revived in English archaeology and architecture in the 18th and 19th century, respectively, present usage usually distinguishes obelisks, columns, shafts (the body of a column between the capital and the pediment), etc., and uses stela and stele to refer to engraved slabs or small pillars.

Furthermore, although the terms still refer to small pillarlike gravestones from antiquity, the similar-looking herms are now often distinguished, as are modern gravestones, monuments, boundary markers, etc.

The terms do sometimes refer to undecorated rocks when they have been raised by artificial means in prehistoric times, particularly when they are slab-like, but the large Neolithic menhirs are usually distinguished as are Chinese scholar's or Taihu rocks and other modern uses of upright stones as decoration or signage.

Usage notes[edit]

Stele is frequently pluralized irregularly as stelae and stelæ, but this is a hypercorrection arising from confusion with the Latin-derived stela. The anglicized Greek plural stelai has been used since the late 19th century but is less common than steles.

Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From 1886 French stèle, from Ancient Greek στήλη (stḗlē, upright rock; pillar; column).

Noun[edit]

stele (plural steles)

  1. (botany) The central core of a plant's root and stem system, especially including the vascular tissue and developed from the plerome
    • 1895, Sydney Howard Vines, A Students' Text-book of Botany, 179
      The stele may have—in different structures—one to many protoxylem (primitive wood) groups, and is accordingly described as monarch...diarch...triarch...tetrarch...polyarch.
    • 1898, Hobart Charles Porter translating Eduard Strasburger & al. A Text-book of Botany, 109
      The so-called central cylinder, for which Van Tieghem has proposed the name stele (column).
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

stele

  1. (archaic) singular present subjunctive of stelen

Anagrams[edit]


Friulian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin stēlla.

Noun[edit]

stele f (plural stelis)

  1. star

Istro-Romanian[edit]

Noun[edit]

stele f (plural form of ste)

  1. stars

Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈstɛ.le/
  • Rhymes: -ɛle
  • Hyphenation: stè‧le

Noun[edit]

stele f (invariable)

  1. stele (all senses)

Anagrams[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek στήλη (stḗlē, pillar).

Noun[edit]

stele m (definite singular stelen, indefinite plural steler, definite plural stelene)

  1. (archaeology) A tall, slender stone monument, often with writing carved into its surface

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Ancient Greek στήλη (stḗlē, pillar).

Noun[edit]

stele m (definite singular stelen, indefinite plural stelar, definite plural stelane)

  1. (archaeology) tall, slender stone monument, often with writing carved into its surface

Etymology 2[edit]

Verb[edit]

stele (present tense stel, past tense stal, past participle stole, passive infinitive stelast, present participle stelande, imperative stel)

  1. Alternative form of stela

Novial[edit]

Noun[edit]

stele (plural steles)

  1. star

Romanian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stele f pl

  1. plural form of stea

Swedish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

stele

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of stel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stele".