a. 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.
b. An area of the celestial sphere occupied by one of the 88 recognized constellations.
2. The configuration of planets at the time of one's birth, regarded by astrologers as determining one's character or fate.
3. A gathering or assemblage, especially of prominent persons or things: The symposium was attended by a constellation of artists and writers.
4. 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.
[Middle English constellacioun, from Old French constellation, from Late Latin cōnstēllātiō, cōnstēllātiōn- : Latin com-, com- + Latin stēlla, star; see ster-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
con·stella·to′ry (-stĕlə-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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