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 Originally used in English in the Latin sense (c. 1600) but this is obsolete.
"pretender to philosophical knowledge," 1610s, from philosophy + -aster.
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.
"a square column or pillar," 1570s, from French pilastre (1540s), from Italian pilastro, from Medieval Latin pilastrum (mid-14c.), from pila, "buttress, pile" (from Latin pila, see pillar) + Latin -aster, suffix "expressing incomplete resemblance" [Barnhart].
"figure used in printing and writing to indicate footnote, omission, etc., or to distinguish words or phrases as conjectural," late 14c., asterich, asterisc, from Late Latin asteriscus, from Greek asteriskos "little star," diminutive of aster "star" (from PIE root *ster- (2) "star"). As a verb from 1733.