February 25, 2013
lodestar (noun)
\LOHD-stahr\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a star that leads or guides; especially : North Star
How do you use it?
The sailors had found themselves at sea without a compass, but they were able to find their way using the lodestar.
Are you a word wiz?

See if your wits can lead you to the correct answer to this question: which of the following is another meaning of the word "lodestar"?

We wouldn't lead you astray, so believe us when we tell you that the right answer is C, "one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide." "Lodestar" comes from the Middle English "lode sterre." "Lode" translates as "course," while the "sterre" part of "lode sterre" is the origin of our word "star." Hence a "lodestar" is something -- whether a real star or someone or something else --that helps a person set a course. A word that's closely related to "lodestar" in both origin and appearance is "lodestone." Originally, "lodestone" referred to a rock having magnetic properties. The word later came to also mean something that strongly attracts.
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