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flower genus, 1706, from Latin aster "star" (see star (n.)); so called for the radiate heads of the flowers. Originally used in English in the Latin sense (c.1600) but this is obsolete.
word-forming element expressing incomplete resemblance (e.g. poetaster), usually diminutive and deprecatory, from Latin, from Greek -aster, suffix originally forming nouns from verbs ending in -azein, later generalized as a pejorative suffix, e.g. Greek patraster "he who plays the father."
aster as·ter (ās'tər)