Word Origin & History
O.E. steorra, from P.Gmc. *sterron, *sternon (cf. O.S. sterro, O.N. stjarna, O.Fris. stera, Du. ster, O.H.G. sterro, Ger. Stern, Goth. stairno), from PIE *ster- (cf. Skt. star-, Hittite shittar, Gk. aster, astron, L. stella, Bret. sterenn, Welsh seren "star"). Astrological sense of "influence of planets
and zodiac on human affairs" is recorded from mid-13c.; star-crossed is from "Romeo and Juliet" (1592). Stars as a ranking of quality for hotels, restaurants, etc. are attested from 1886, originally in Baedecker guides. Brass star as a police badge is recorded from 1859 (New York City). Starlight is late 14c.; star-fruit (Damasonium stellatum) is first attested 1857; starfish first attested 1530s; star-gazer is from 1550s. Starry-eyed "unrealistically optimistic" is attested from 1936 (in "Gone With the Wind"). Starship first attested 1934 (in "Astounding Stories").
1824, "perform the lead part" (said of actors, singers, etc.), from star
(n.). Sporting sense is from 1916. Starlet in Hollywood sense first recorded 1920.