Starry-eyed and stars in one’s eyes

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Starry-eyed and stars in one’s eyes are variations of an idiom that may not be as old as you think. We will examine the meaning of the common sayings starry-eyed and stars in one’s eyes, where they came from, and some examples of their idiomatic usage in sentences.

Starry-eyed describes someone who is overly optimistic; someone who is hopeful for something that most probably will not happen; someone who has an inflated opinion of his ability to be successful. Someone who is starry-eyed may also be said to have stars in his eyes. Both expressions came into use in the twentieth century, though starry-eyed is the much more popular of the two expressions. The image is of someone who is lit up with hope, so much so that his eyes shine like stars.


The fourteen-year-old Texan native weaves listeners through a tale of starry-eyed connection and commitment in “I Left a Party for You,” a dazzling bedroom pop song beaming with catchy melodies and intimate emotion. (Atwood Magazine)

Viola Davis stars as the Mother of Blues while Boseman serves as her cornet player who’s starry-eyed jazz ambitions lead to more misfortune than luck. (Newsweek Magazine)

It was a beautiful day, out by the putting green and everyone was so happy and celebrating and you had stars in your eyes looking at him … (Providence Journal)

The older Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) has stars in her eyes and hopes to successfully launch her own company as she struggles through a host of part-time jobs. (The Hindu)