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The meaning of 'star'

Posted by ESC on December 03, 2002

In Reply to: The meaning of 'star' posted by R. Berg on December 03, 2002

: : Can anyone tell me whether 'star' can apply to anyone who is famous/talented/successful in any given field or if it is more specific? I had a heated debate today with colleagues who thought that Kirsty Wark (a British presenter on a news programme) was not a TV star because they thought she was not a 'celebrity'. I argued that since she is very well-known and appears on TV she must be a star. To me, star, celebrity and personality are synonymous. Can anybody help????

: Here's my (American) understanding of the difference: All stars are celebrities, but not all celebrities are stars. A star is a glamorous celebrity. A well-known politician or author or physicist may be a celebrity but not a star. I have little notion of what a personality is in that sense.

: The definitions of "star" in the American Heritage Dictionary include these:
: (As a noun) An artistic performer or athlete whose leading role or superior performance is acknowledged.
: (As an intransitive verb) To play the leading role in a theatrical production.

A "star" is more exalted and permanent than the more ordinary actor/personality/celebrity. But the word was used so often that someone came up with "super star."