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star +‎ burst


starburst (plural starbursts)

  1. A violent explosion, or the pattern (likened to the shape of a star) supposed to be made by such an explosion.
    • 2002, Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror:
      [] his arm striking brick and the bottle shattering in a starburst of black []
    • 2003, Tim Cockey, Murder in the Hearse Degree: A Novel:
      A starburst of red exploded on his chest and he flew backward a good six or seven feet.
    • 2004, Elizabeth George, Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life:
      [] and another that creates a cicatrix starburst from her right eye to her temple. This scar is the result of an accident when she was ten years old, []
  2. (typography) A symbol similar to an asterisk, but with additional rays: .
  3. (astronomy) A region of space with an unusually high rate of star formation.
  4. (astronomy) A period in time during which a region of space experiences an unusually high rate of star formation.
    The Milky Way will see a starburst in approximately 200,000,000 years.

Derived terms[edit]



starburst (third-person singular simple present starbursts, present participle starbursting, simple past and past participle starbursted)

  1. (astronomy, of a region of space) To experience an unusually high rate of star formation.
  2. To explode; to burst out violently via, or in such a manner as to cause, an explosion.
  3. To make a starburst pattern.
  4. To refract and sparkle.
    • 1998, Graham Joyce, The Tooth Fairy:
      The faint light from the sky starbursted on a tear. Suddenly there was something appallingly human about her.