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

Astronomically the sun enters the constellation of Cancer this weekend. Arnold Pearlstein, sun-sentinel.com, "The Stars This Week: July 14-20," 14 July 2019 An uncommon constellation of circumstances seemed to help drive her to the final. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Serena Williams Was on a Roll at Wimbledon. Simona Halep Stopped Her.," 13 July 2019 Ohtani, who turns 25 next month, might already be the brightest star in Japan’s formidable constellation of baseball players. Bill Shaikin, latimes.com, "Angels’ Shohei Ohtani brings in dollars as he bangs out hits," 26 June 2019 Companies like Facebook, SpaceX, and Amazon want to change that by launching constellations of satellites into the sky, which will beam internet back down to Earth. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Bridging the Internet's Digital Language Divide," 13 June 2019 Learn about the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere while peering through telescopes at the Cusco Planetarium. National Geographic, "Peru Family Journey: Machu Picchu to the Amazon," 12 June 2019 To many Westerners, the Caucasus, denoting both a mountain range and the constellation of ex-Soviet territories that spans it, still seems shrouded in enigma. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "Trekking Through a Mysterious, Mesmerizing Old World," 2 May 2019 Gods would briefly come to earth here while dying chiefs embarked on journeys skyward, to destinations among the constellations, or to worlds beneath the ocean. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Exploring Polynesia's Islands by Cruise," 28 June 2019 Hidden in one of the darkest corners of the Orion constellation, this Cosmic Bat is spreading its hazy wings through interstellar space two thousand light-years away. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Dazzling new views of the Whirlpool galaxy captured by NASA," 27 June 2019

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

21 Jul 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

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!