1. Charm or attractiveness that stems from celebrity and tends to forestall criticism: "The relative unknowns ... bring enough style [to the musical] to make up for any perceived lack of stardust" (Charles Isherwood).
2. A dreamlike, romantic, or uncritical sense of well-being.
a. Dust formed in very hot gasses ejected from stellar atmospheres or in supernova explosions.
b. A cluster of stars too distant to be seen individually, resembling a dimly luminous cloud of dust. Not in scientific use.
c. Minute particles of matter that fall to Earth from the stars. Not in scientific use.
have stardust in (one's) eyes
To be uncritically or unrealistically optimistic.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.