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stone marker or monument: An ancient stele marked the grave.
Not to be confused with:
steal – to take the property of another without permission: Did he steal your purse?
steel – modified form of iron: The building is reinforced with steel beams.
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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 ?
However, recent commentaries such as Philippe Postel's reading of the work as a creation of formal (material, spiritual, architectural) correlates of the stone "stele" in the poetic order (Victor Segalen et la statuaire chinoise: archeologie et poetique), Didier Alexandre's study of the troubled nature of the lyrical voice through the poems ("La question du lyrisme dans la forme stele," in Lectures d'une oeuvre: "Steles" et "Equipee" de Victor Segalen.
Italy took the funeral stone, or stele, in 1937 on the orders of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
The pillars will be grouped together in four inter-linking clusters commemorating the four locations and each stele will be unique and bear an inscription of the date and location of the incident it reflects.
Each stele will be grouped together in four interlinking clusters, representing the four separate attacks that took place on the same day in July 2005.
The texts of stele and rock inscriptions from the era of the Tibetan empire are not only a precious cultural heritage produced by our ancestors but also important textual data for modern Tibetology.
Its size suggests that the entire statue would have been more than four metres tall; Below left: raising a granite stele (inscribed slab), found on the site of Herakleion;
24) in the new Four Season's Centre for the Performing Arts was Dean Burry's Isis and the Seven Scorpions, a work for children based on an incantation found on an ancient Egyptian stele.
Grave stele of a little girl, 450-440 BC, Greek, Parian marble, H.
The left lateral face of the Aristoteles Decree stele (IG II2 43), the most important epigraphic source for the Second Athenian League, presents numerous problems of interpretation.
Brashier considers stele inscriptions from the Eastern Han that included mnemonic devices to aid in the memorization of their words such as cliche, exaggeration, "memory places," and "verse.
Palmer tells how he found the sole remaining pagoda of this lost Christian monastery in 1998 using a Tang period (618-906) inscription from a stele in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xian and a map taken from the work of Japanese scholar P.