con·​stel·​late ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌlāt How to pronounce constellate (audio)
constellated; constellating

transitive verb

: to unite in a cluster
: to set or adorn with or as if with constellations

Did you know?

It's plain that constellate is related to constellation, and, indeed, things that "constellate" (or "are constellated") cluster together like stars in a constellation. Both words derive ultimately from the Latin word for "star," which is stella. Constellation (which came to us by way of Middle French from Late Latin constellation-, constellatio) entered the language first-it dates to at least the 14th century. Constellate didn't appear until a full 300 years later.

Examples of constellate in a Sentence

the museum has constellated many of the artist's most glorious paintings into one stunning exhibition
Recent Examples on the Web To make sense of a correspondence, however complete or incomplete, is to constellate fragmentary evidence, and make surmises about what is missing (including what may not have been apparent to the letter-writers themselves). Langdon Hammer, The New York Review of Books, 25 Feb. 2020 Kathleen Shafer tells Judd’s story, and constellating stories about art, history, landscape, weather, the mysterious Marfa lights, economics, sociology and, of course, real estate. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, 15 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'constellate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1643, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of constellate was in 1643


Dictionary Entries Near constellate

Cite this Entry

“Constellate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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