n. pl. star-of-Bethlehem or stars-of-Bethlehem (stärz′-)
1. Any of various bulbous perennial herbs of the genus Ornithogalum, especially O. umbellatum, native to the Mediterranean region and having narrow leaves and a cluster of star-shaped white flowers.
2. Any of several similar or related plants.
[After the star that guided the Magi to Bethlehem.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.