From lode (“journey, course”) + star, where lode is an archaic noun from the verb lithe (“to go, journey”), related to lead. Cognate with Old Norse leiðarstjarna, German Leitstern, Swedish ledstjärna. English from the 14th century as loode sterre, lood-sterre, lade-sterne, 15th century lode sterre, 16th century lode starre.
lodestar (plural lodestars)
- A star used as a navigation reference, particularly a pole star such as Polaris.
- A guiding tenet or principle.
- (law) A calculated amount to award as attorney's fees derived by multiplying the reasonable number of hours spent working on a case by the reasonable hourly billing rate.