constellation

noun

con·​stel·​la·​tion ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio)
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
constellatory adjective

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web This one carried 53 Starlink satellites to orbit, adding to a constellation that now has more than 3,000 in operation -- more satellites than the rest of the world combined, according to analysts. Arkansas Online, 30 Oct. 2022 This one carried 53 Starlink satellites to orbit, adding to a constellation that now has more than 3,000 in operation — more satellites than the rest of the world combined, according to analysts. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2022 My opened up to a constellation of contact icons scattered across the country. New York Times, 20 Aug. 2022 NBCUniversal, a sizable film and television producer, recently signed a deal to utilize the sprawling production campus in Doraville, a major addition to the constellation of entertainment businesses planting roots in Georgia. Rodney Ho, ajc, 19 Aug. 2022 In Sherman Oaks, Julia Irzyk tries to gauge how rampant the coronavirus is in her community, turning to a constellation of data points to guide her. Emily Alpert Reyes, Anchorage Daily News, 17 July 2022 In Sherman Oaks, Julia Irzyk tries to gauge how rampant the coronavirus is in her community, turning to a constellation of data points to guide her. Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2022 Starlink plans to expand its network to a constellation of over 40,000 satellites—far too many to target individually. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 26 May 2022 Dandruff generally applies to a constellation of flaking and itching of the scalp along with possible dryness and greasiness. Brie Schwartz, Seventeen, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near constellation

Cite this Entry

“Constellation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constellation. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

constellation

noun

con·​stel·​la·​tion ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio)
: any of 88 groups of stars forming patterns

Medical Definition

constellation

noun

con·​stel·​la·​tion ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce constellation (audio)
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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