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 (stē′lē, stēl)
1. also ste·la (stē′lə) pl. steles also ste·lae (-lē) An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface, used as a monument or as a commemorative tablet in the face of a building.
2. stele (stēl, stē′lē) The primary vascular tissue in the stem or root of a vascular plant, consisting of the xylem and phloem together with supporting tissues, such as pith.

[Greek stēlē, pillar; see stel- in Indo-European roots.]

ste′lar (-lər) adj.


(ˈstiːlɪ; stiːl)
n, pl stelae (ˈstiːliː) or steles (ˈstiːlɪz; stiːlz)
1. (Archaeology) an upright stone slab or column decorated with figures or inscriptions, common in prehistoric times
2. (Architecture) a prepared vertical surface that has a commemorative inscription or design, esp one on the face of a building
3. (Botany) the conducting tissue of the stems and roots of plants, which is in the form of a cylinder, principally containing xylem, phloem, and pericycle. See also protostele, siphonostele
Also called (for senses 1, 2): stela
[C19: from Greek stēlē; related to Greek histanai to stand, Latin stāre]
stelar adj


(ˈsti li, stil for 1-3; stil, ˈsti li for 4 )

n., pl. ste•lai (ˈsti laɪ) ste•les (ˈsti liz, stilz)
1. an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.
2. a prepared surface on the face of a building, a rock, etc., bearing an inscription or the like.
3. the central cylinder of vascular tissue in the stems and roots of the higher plants.
Also, stela (for defs. 1-3).
[1810–20; < Greek stḗlē, akin to Latin stāre to stand]
ste′lar, adj.


An upright stone slab or tablet, often decorated or carved with inscriptions, common in prehistoric times.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.stele - the usually cylindrical central vascular portion of the axis of a vascular plant
vascular tissue - tissue that conducts water and nutrients through the plant body in higher plants
axis - the main stem or central part about which plant organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged
2.stele - an ancient upright stone slab bearing markingsstele - an ancient upright stone slab bearing markings
antiquity - an artifact surviving from the past
stone - building material consisting of a piece of rock hewn in a definite shape for a special purpose; "he wanted a special stone to mark the site"


n (Archeol) → Stele f
References in periodicals archive ?
We are told that they are like Greek stelaes that mark graves.
There, visitors can find amazing temples, pyramids, and giant stelaes with carved glyphs, which belong to some of the last remaining Indian populations of this Central American region.