flower genus, 1706, from Latin aster "star," from Greek aster (from PIE root *ster- (2) "star"); so called for the radiate heads of the flowers. Originally used in English in the Latin sense (c. 1600) but this is obsolete.
word-forming element expressing incomplete resemblance (such as poetaster), usually diminutive and deprecatory, from Latin -aster, from a suffix forming nouns from verbs ending in Greek -azein; in later Latin generalized as a pejorative suffix, as in patraster "he who plays the father."
"pretender to philosophical knowledge," 1610s, from philosophy + -aster.
element active in English word formation from mid-18c. and meaning "star or celestial body; outer space," from Greek astro-, stem and combining form of astron "star," which is related to aster "star," from PIE root *ster- (2) "star." In ancient Greek, aster typically was "a star" and astron mostly in plural, "the stars." In singular it mostly meant "Sirius" (the brightest star).
genus of herbs of the aster family, 1767, from Modern Latin (Linnæus, 1763), named for German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1729-1759) + abstract noun ending -ia.