Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Astronomy An arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or design, especially one of 88 recognized groups named after characters from classical mythology and various common animals and objects.
  • n. Astronomy An area of the celestial sphere occupied by one of the 88 recognized constellations.
  • n. The configuration of planets at the time of one's birth, regarded by astrologers as determining one's character or fate.
  • n. A gathering or an assemblage, especially of prominent persons or things: The symposium was attended by a constellation of artists and writers.
  • n. A set or configuration, as of related items, properties, ideas, or individuals: a constellation of demands ranging from better food to improved health care; a constellation of feelings about the divorce.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or pattern.
  • n. An image associated with a group of stars.
  • n. Any of the 88 officially recognized regions of the sky, including all stars and celestial bodies in the region.
  • n. The configuration of planets at a given time (notably of birth), as used for determining a horoscope.
  • n. A wide, seemingly unlimited assortment.
  • n. A configuration or grouping.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. An assemblage of splendors or excellences.
  • n. Fortune; fate; destiny.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A group of fixed stars to which a definite name has been given, but which does not form a part of another named group. See asterism.
  • n. Figuratively, any assemblage of persons or things of a brilliant, distinguished, or exalted character: as, a constellation of wits or beauties, or of great authors.
  • n. The influence of the heavenly bodies upon the temperament or life.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a configuration of stars as seen from the earth
  • n. an arrangement of parts or elements

Etymologies

Middle English constellacioun, from Old French constellation, from Late Latin cōnstellātiō, cōnstellātiōn- : Latin com-, com- + Latin stēlla, star; see ster-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English constellacioun, constillacioun, from Middle French constellation, from Latin constellātiō, from cōn ("with") + stēlla ("star, astral body"). (Wiktionary)

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