Definition of constellation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkänstəˈlāSH(ə)n/


1A group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries.
Example sentences
  • Section IV takes us off the land and into comets, galaxies and constellations of stars.
  • Instead she tried to name the constellations in the stars.
  • Maria and her father lay out under the stars, naming the constellations.
1.1A group or cluster of related things: no two patients ever show exactly the same constellation of symptoms
More example sentences
  • The Defense Department has not yet selected all of the future locations for its new constellation of overseas facilities.
  • That morning, a peddler on Broad Street had extended a constellation of needle marks into her path, hand holding a fake plastic flower.
  • Both of these are definitely important considerations that capital owners weigh, but they are amongst a constellation of many others.


Middle English (as an astrological term denoting the relative positions of the “stars” (planets), supposed to influence events): via Old French from late Latin constellatio(n-), based on Latin stella 'star'.

  • star from Old English:

    The Latin word stella ‘star’, which gave us star constellation (Middle English) and stellar (mid 17th century), was related to the two Greek equivalents, astēr and astron, the source of words such as asterisk and astrology (Late Middle English). The latter is the source of expressions such as thank your lucky stars found from the late 16th century. Star did not apply to famous or talented entertainers until the beginning of the 19th century. Eventually a star was not big or glittering enough, and superstar was coined around 1925, followed by megastar in 1976. See also hitch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·stel·la·tion

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