[stee-lee, steel for 1–3; steel, stee-lee for 4]
noun, plural stelai [stee-lahy] , steles [stee-leez, steelz] .
an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.
Architecture. a prepared surface on the face of a building, a rock, etc., bearing an inscription or the like.
(in ancient Rome) a burial stone.
Botany. the central cylinder or cylinders of vascular and related tissue in the stem, root, petiole, leaf, etc., of the higher plants.
Also, stela (for defs 1–3).

1810–20; < Greek stḗlē, akin to histánai to make stand, Latin stāre to stand

stelar [stee-ler] , adjective

steal, steel, stele. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stele (ˈstiːlɪ, stiːl, ˈstiːlə)
n , pl stelae, steles
1.  an upright stone slab or column decorated with figures or inscriptions, common in prehistoric times
2.  a prepared vertical surface that has a commemorative inscription or design, esp one on the face of a building
3.  protostele See also siphonostele the conducting tissue of the stems and roots of plants, which is in the form of a cylinder, principally containing xylem, phloem, and pericycle
[C19: from Greek stēlē; related to Greek histanai to stand, Latin stāre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"upright slab," usually inscribed, 1820, from Gk. stele "standing block, slab," related to stellein "to set in order, arrange," from PIE *stel- (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stele   (stēl, stē'lē)  Pronunciation Key 
The central core of primary vascular tissues in the stem or root of a vascular plant, consisting of xylem and phloem together with pith.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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