Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A grouping of stars on the celestial sphere perceived as a figure or design, especially one of the 88 recognized groups named after characters from classical Greek and Roman mythology as well as various common animals and objects.
  • noun An area of the celestial sphere occupied by one of the 88 recognized constellations.
  • noun The configuration of planets at the time of one's birth, regarded by astrologers as determining one's character or fate.
  • noun A gathering or assemblage, especially of prominent persons or things.
  • noun A set or configuration, as of related items, properties, ideas, or individuals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The influence of the heavenly bodies upon the temperament or life.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English constellacioun, from Old French constellation, from Late Latin cōnstēllātiō, cōnstēllātiōn- : Latin com-, com- + Latin stēlla, star; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English constellacioun, constillacioun, from Middle French constellation, from Latin constellātiō, from cōn ("with") + stēlla ("star, astral body").

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