constellation

noun
con·​stel·​la·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio) \

Definition of constellation

1 : the configuration of stars especially at one's birth
2 : any of 88 arbitrary configurations of stars or an area of the celestial sphere covering one of these configurations the constellation Orion
3 : an assemblage, collection, or group of usually related persons, qualities, or things … a constellation of … relatives, friends, and hangers-on …— Brendan Gill a constellation of symptoms
4 : pattern, arrangement … taking advantage of the shifting constellation of power throughout the known world.— H. D. Lasswell

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from constellation

constellatory \ kən-​ˈste-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce constellatory (audio) \ adjective

Examples of constellation in a Sentence

The constellation Ursa Major contains the stars of the Big Dipper. A large constellation of relatives and friends attended the funeral. The patient presented a constellation of symptoms.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which is how these events get their names. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "How to Watch the December 2018 Geminid Meteor Shower," 10 Dec. 2018 The violence that engulfed Tche is part of a constellation of conflicts affecting the DRC, a country the size of Western Europe that sits on $24 trillion in natural resources but is, nonetheless, one of the world’s poorest nations. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 ChuChu is the largest of a new constellation of children’s-media brands on YouTube that is spread out across the world, including Little Baby Bum in London, Animaccord in Moscow and Billion Surprise Toys in Dubai. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Did Chinese spies infiltrate Apple and Amazon with tiny chips?," 4 Oct. 2018 What’s more, hybrid jobs pay more than positions that call for a traditional constellation of skills. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "The ‘Hybrid’ Skills That Tomorrow’s Jobs Will Require," 21 Jan. 2019 These Western, or tropical, zodiac signs were named after constellations and matched with dates based on the apparent relationship between their placement in the sky and the sun. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Where Do Zodiac Signs Come From? Here's the True History Behind Your Horoscope," 21 June 2018 Companies have plans for constellations numbering nearly 1,000 sats strong. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Pentagon Thinks Small Satellites Can Solve Big Problems," 22 May 2018 Oumuamua will pass Jupiter in May, go beyond Saturn's orbit in January and then leave our solar system, bound for the Pegasus constellation. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This object isn't supposed to be in our solar system," 21 May 2018 Miró, whose Mediterranean landscapes refracted into constellation-like forms as his career progressed, is an indelible part of the artistic history of Barcelona and the world at large. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Inside Joan Miró’s Just-Opened Farmhouse, Where the Artist’s Studio Is Perfectly Preserved," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constellation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of constellation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for constellation

Middle English constellacioun, from Anglo-French constellation, from Late Latin constellation-, constellatio, from Latin com- + stella star — more at star

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about constellation

Statistics for constellation

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for constellation

The first known use of constellation was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for constellation

constellation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of constellation

: a group of stars that forms a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name
formal : a group of people or things that are similar in some way

constellation

noun
con·​stel·​la·​tion | \ ˌkän-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio) \

Kids Definition of constellation

: any of 88 named groups of stars forming patterns

constellation

noun
con·​stel·​la·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio) \

Medical Definition of constellation

: a set of ideas, conditions, symptoms, or traits that fall into or appear to fall into a pattern: as
a : a group of stimulus conditions or factors affecting personality and behavior development the way in which family constellation and handling of punishment influenced this particular boy— S. B. Sarason
b : a group of behavioral or personality traits

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on constellation

What made you want to look up constellation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!