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Webster 1913 Edition


Constellation

Conˊstel-la′tion

,
Noun.
[F.
constellation
, L.
constellatio
.]
1.
A cluster or group of fixed stars, or division of the heavens, designated in most cases by the name of some animal, or of some mythologial personage, within whose imaginary outline, as traced upon the heavens, the group is included.
The
constellations
seem to have been almost purposely named and delineated to cause as much confusion and inconvenience as possible.
Sir J. Herschel.
☞ In each of the constellations now recognized by astronomers (about 90 in number) the brightest stars, both named and unnamed, are designated nearly in the order of brilliancy by the letters of the Greek alphabet; as, α Tauri (Aldebaran) is the first star of Taurus, γ Orionis (Bellatrix) is the third star of Orion.
2.
An assemblage of splendors or excellences.
The
constellations
of genius had already begun to show itself . . . which was to shed a glory over the meridian and close of Philip’s reign.
Prescott.
3.
Fortune; fate; destiny.
[Obs.]
It is
constellation
, which causeth all that a man doeth.
Gower.

Webster 1828 Edition


Constellation

CONSTELLATION

,
Noun.
1.
A cluster of fixed stars; an asterism; a number of stars which appear as if situated near each other in the heavens, and are considered as forming a particular division. The constellations are reduced mostly to the figures of certain animals or other known things, as the bear, the bull, the ram, the balance, &c.
For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light. Isaiah 13.
2.
An assemblage of splendors or excellencies.

Definition 2022


constellation

constellation

See also: constellâtion

English

Noun

constellation (plural constellations)

  1. An asterism, an arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or pattern.
  2. An image associated with a group of stars.
  3. (astronomy) Any of the 88 officially recognized regions of the sky, including all stars and celestial bodies in the region.
    • 1824, Astronomical Recreations; or, Sketches of the Relative Position and Mythological History of the Constellations, Philadelphia, p. 78:
      Harpa Georgii, or the Harp of George, is a new constellation introduced on the maps by one of the German astronomers, in honour of the late king of England, George III.
  4. (astrology) The configuration of planets at a given time (notably of birth), as used for determining a horoscope.
  5. (figuratively) A wide, seemingly unlimited assortment.
    • A constellation of possibilities.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion:
      Throughout the 1500s, the populace roiled over a constellation of grievances of which the forest emerged as a key focal point. The popular late Middle Ages fictional character Robin Hood, dressed in green to symbolize the forest, dodged fines for forest offenses and stole from the rich to give to the poor. But his appeal was painfully real and embodied the struggle over wood.
  6. (spaceflight) a fleet of satellites of the same purpose (such as the set of GPS satellites, or Iridium satcom fleet)
  7. A configuration or grouping.
    • Your computer's software constellation helps you do your work faster.
Synonyms
  • (arbitrary formation of stars): asterism
  • See also Wikisaurus:constellation

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

See also


French

Etymology

From Middle French constellation, from Latin constellātiō, from cōn (with) + stēlla (star, astral body)

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /kɔ̃s.tɛ.la.sjɔ̃/

Noun

constellation f (plural constellations)

  1. constellation (all senses)

Related terms