Milky Way Definition

The galaxy containing the sun, solar system, and all of the individually visible stars in the night sky, along with various nebulae, star clusters, and dust clouds, thought to have a super-massive black hole at its center of mass.
American Heritage
The broad meandering band of faint light that consists of stars from this galaxy and is often visible in the night sky.
American Heritage

(astronomy) A broad band of diffuse white light, visible in the night sky; our view of the dense portions of the Milky Way Galaxy from inside the galaxy.


(astronomy) The Milky Way Galaxy, the galaxy in which Earth is located; extension of the night sky phenomenon.


Origin of Milky Way

  • Middle English translation of Latin via lactea via way lactea feminine of lacteus milky

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • A calque of Latin Via Lactea.

    From Wiktionary

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