Definition of asterism in English:


Syllabification: as·ter·ism
Pronunciation: /ˈastəˌrizəm


  • 1 Astronomy A prominent pattern or group of stars, typically having a popular name but smaller than a constellation.
    More example sentences
    • Orion contains an asterism or well-known star pattern called the ‘saucepan’ or ‘iron pot’.
    • They're located about 15° west-northwest of the bright red star Aldebaran, which in turn is at the end of one of the arms of a V-shaped asterism, the Hyades open cluster, which points southwest.
    • Orion and the Great Bear are two of the most prominent asterisms visible from the northern hemisphere.
  • 2A group of three asterisks (⁂) drawing attention to following text.


late 16th century: from Greek asterismos, from astēr 'star'.

More definitions of asterism

Definition of asterism in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space