Pronunciation: (stē'lē, stēl for 1–3; stēl, stē'lē for 4), [key]
—pl. ste•laiPronunciation: (stē'lī), [key] ste•lesPronunciation: (stē'lēz, stēlz). [key]
1. an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.
2. Archit.a prepared surface on the face of a building, a rock, etc., bearing an inscription or the like.
3. (in ancient Rome) a burial stone.
4. Bot.the central cylinder or cylinders of vascular and related tissue in the stem, root, petiole, leaf, etc., of the higher plants. Also,stela (for defs. 1–3).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.