Lodestar – Meaning & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

What is a lodestar? This noun has a literal and figurative meaning. Lodestar is also a closed compound word for lode and star. Keep reading to know the definition and origin of lodestar. I also provided examples of how to use it in a sentence so you can see exactly what I mean.

Lodestar Definition

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Lodestar is an archaic term that is used to refer to a star that leads or guides. One example is the Pole Star. This noun now means one that serves as an inspiration, guide, or model. It can be a person, object, or principle that people want to follow.

Some synonyms include:

  • Role model
  • Model
  • Exemplar
  • Ideal
  • Inspiration
  • Standard
  • Pattern
  • Guiding light
  • Guiding star
  • Luminary

Lodestar Etymology

Lodestar Ngram
Lodestar usage trend.

The oldest meaning of lodestar refers to the North Star, Pole Star, or Polaris, the brightest star in the Little Dipper. It was a fixed point used by humans for navigation because it was stationary.

Over time, lodestar became a term for someone or something that acts as a moral or inspirational guide. This meaning became popular in literary works during the 1300s. It is derived from the word lode, which means journey.

How to Pronounce Lodestar

The correct pronunciation of the word lodestar is lowd-star.

Examples of How to Use Lodestar in a Sentence

Here are some examples of lodestar in a sentence.

  • The signs are that they’re not willing to take any chances, which means Powell’s new lodestar points toward tighter policy, even though some wonder if there is such a thing as a wage-price spiral. (Bloomberg)
  • The case pits the approach of paying lawyers a flat percentage of the total award against a more complicated approach, known as the lodestar cross-check, that is based on how much those lawyers would have been paid on a billable hour scale. (Bloomberg Law)
  • ​​The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment awarding attorneys’ fees by holding that the parties’ settlement was not a coupon settlement and affirmed the district court’s application of the percentage-of-fund method, reducing the requested award of $8.125 million to $5,689,440, representing 17.5% of the value of the fund and 2.9 times the lodestar. (JD Supra)
  • The ANC is no longer SA’s political lodestar. Will somebody tell them? (Business Live)
  • At Oxfordshire’s heart is the twinkling lodestar of Oxford itself. To stare out from the heights of Headington Hill – where the oaks and limes of South Park have dropped their leaves and clocked off until the spring – is to see the city as a storybook illustration, its spires and pinnacles rising above the rooftops. The slender turrets of Magdalen College Bell Tower occupy centre-stage, as they have done for more than 500 years. (Country File)

Lodestar Summary

Was this guide helpful in showing you the literal and archaic definitions of lodestar? Lodestar originally meant the North Star, Pole Star, or Polaris. Today, we also use it as a term for inspiration, guide, or model.

Can you give an example of a lodestar for presidents in your country? How about a lodestar for musicians?