Definition of constellation in US English:

constellation

noun

  • 1A group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries.

    • ‘The site's astronomers (in Michigan) annotate the photos, so stars, constellations and planets are all clearly identified.’
    • ‘I was lying on the ground in front of someone's house watching the stars, the constellation, Cassiopeia.’
    • ‘Like all the other identified extra-solar planets, the body found orbiting the star in the constellation Lyra is a giant.’
    • ‘Centaurus is a southern constellation and its brightest stars are not visible in regions above latitude 29 north.’
    • ‘Maria and her father lay out under the stars, naming the constellations.’
    • ‘He described hundreds of stars and the constellations and in the Milky Way which had never been seen or even suspected before.’
    • ‘They played connect-the-dots with stars and came up with constellations that involved mythical figures and stories.’
    • ‘It represents the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Great Bear and the Little Bear) in the night sky.’
    • ‘Instead she tried to name the constellations in the stars.’
    • ‘But it is a moving zodiac that no longer bears direct relation to the constellations of stars in whose honour its signs are named.’
    • ‘North of Orion lies a pentagon of stars which mark the constellation Auriga, the brightest of which is Capella.’
    • ‘Part of the constellation Puppis, the star is a tad too faint to see with the unaided eye.’
    • ‘Meteor showers are named after the constellations they appear to be coming from.’
    • ‘Section IV takes us off the land and into comets, galaxies and constellations of stars.’
    • ‘Look for the brightest stars and constellations first; light pollution or moonlight may wash out the fainter ones.’
    • ‘And in which constellation is that Great Nebula, the constellation which then gave its name to the galaxy?’
    • ‘The centre of our galaxy lies within a cluster of stars in the constellation Sagittarius.’
    • ‘If you look at the night sky and wish you could name all the stars and constellations, you can.’
    • ‘Even to this day their name is associated with a number of stars, constellations, and astronomical instruments.’
    • ‘You see thousands of stars arranged in patterns or constellations.’
    star system, solar system, cluster, nebula
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A group or cluster of related things.
      ‘no two patients ever show exactly the same constellation of symptoms’
      • ‘Similarly, data communications, including emergency service, is a natural use for a constellation of such satellites.’
      • ‘The constellation of these artists and their painted and sculpted expressions is impressive in its rhetoric and spectacle.’
      • ‘This constellation of images, and the devil in its dialectic, is nicely captured in this passage.’
      • ‘Both of these are definitely important considerations that capital owners weigh, but they are amongst a constellation of many others.’
      • ‘However, this improved prognosis is seen only when one finds the complete constellation of diagnostic features.’
      • ‘The map of Europe is dotted with a constellation of spa towns.’
      • ‘A whole constellation of imaging products is now maturing into commercial viability.’
      • ‘In each case, the same constellation of notions emerges.’
      • ‘What a constellation of small joys Sunday turned out to be.’
      • ‘In fact, I visualize the constellation of events and characters in my novels with these pictures.’
      • ‘In the process, a constellation of personal qualities has been derided and devalued, and is in the process of vanishing altogether.’
      • ‘The bullets found easy victims and a constellation of flashing lights lit up the smoke-filled cabin, accompanied by a staccato roar.’
      • ‘Rather, its impact is felt through people's concern with a constellation of ideas which are linked by the fact that they are presupposed by social Darwinism.’
      • ‘The Defense Department has not yet selected all of the future locations for its new constellation of overseas facilities.’
      • ‘He has gladly capitulated to a constellation of race-hustling poverty pimps in an repellent effort to hang on at all costs.’
      • ‘They must find the new constellation of goods that the gift represents more attractive than the one they are used to.’
      • ‘If women present with a different constellation of symptoms, they're less likely to associate those symptoms with heart disease.’
      • ‘He clearly delineated the constellation of today's fine art world by flowing and following the mainstreams.’
      • ‘Perhaps it says a lot for the depth of Brazil's squad that they have advanced to the latter stages bereft of such a constellation of talent.’
      • ‘That morning, a peddler on Broad Street had extended a constellation of needle marks into her path, hand holding a fake plastic flower.’

Origin

Middle English (as an astrological term denoting the relative positions of the ‘stars’ (planets), supposed to influence events): via Old French from late Latin constellatio(n-), based on Latin stella ‘star’.

Pronunciation

constellation

/ˌkänstəˈlāSH(ə)n//ˌkɑnstəˈleɪʃ(ə)n/