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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ His chest and cheek the most repulsive sight, a negative constellation of buckshot bruises.
▪ In a moment I saw that they formed the outlines of the familiar constellations.
▪ In principle these constellations are knowable, and criminal behaviour fully predictable.
▪ Individual constellations of these requirements are infinitely varied, of course.
▪ Much the most celebrated object in the constellation is Omicron Ceti or Mira, the prototype long-period variable.
▪ No, what I am looking at are the first direct signals to reach me from the dark constellation of Serafin.
▪ This hulking Atlas is carrying the universe upon his shoulders, a hollow orb ringed with the constellations of the celestial sphere.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Constellation \Con`stel*la"tion\, n. [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.

    Note: 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, [alpha] Tauri (Aldebaran) is the first star of Taurus, [gamma] 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.

  3. Fortune; fate; destiny. [Obs.]

    It is constellation, which causeth all that a man doeth.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., from Old French constellacion "constellation, conjuncture (of planets)," from Late Latin constellationem (nominative constellatio) "set with stars," from constellatus, from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + past participle of stellare "to shine," from stella "star" (see star). Originally in astrology, of position of planets ("stars") in regard to one another on a given day, usually one's birth day, as a determination of one's character. "I folwed ay myn inclinacioun/By vertu of my constillacioun" (Chaucer, "Wife's Prologue," c.1386). Modern astronomical sense is from 1550s.


n. 1 An arbitrary formation of stars perceived as a figure or pattern. 2 An image associated with a group of stars. 3 (context astronomy English) Any of the 88 officially recognized regions of the sky, including all stars and celestial bodies in the region. 4 (context astrology English) The configuration of planets at a given time (notably of birth), as used for determining a horoscope. 5 (context figuratively English) A wide, seemingly unlimited assortment.

  1. n. an arrangement of parts or elements; "the outcome depends on the configuration of influences at the time" [syn: configuration]

  2. a configuration of stars as seen from the earth

Constellation (disambiguation)

A constellation is any of certain areas of the celestial sphere.

Constellation or constellations may also refer to:

Constellation (Fabergé egg)

The Constellation Egg is one of two Easter eggs designed under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé in 1917, for the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. It was the last Fabergé egg designed. It remains unfinished.

Constellation (film)

Constellation is a film that was released by Codeblack Entertainment and 20th Century Fox in 2007. It had its French premiere in Cannes, and in Britain premiered as a special screening at the American Embassy in London.

Constellation (Alabama Thunderpussy album)

Constellation is an album by Alabama Thunderpussy. It is the band's third album, released in 2000.

Constellation (composition)

"Constellation" is a bebop composition written in 1948 by American jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. It is a contrafact of " I Got Rhythm". "Constellation" was originally recorded by Charlie Parker All-Stars on September 18, 1948 in NYC for Savoy Records

The composition has been covered by numerous artists, including notable recordings by Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt

Constellation (Sonny Stitt album)

Constellation is an album by saxophonist Sonny Stitt recorded in 1972 and released on the Cobblestone label.

Constellation (yacht)

Constellation is an American racing yachts in the 12-metre class that successfully defended the 1964 America's Cup.

On 20 March 1964, Constellation had beaten Sovereign by 4–0 in matches in the 1964 America's Cup.

Constellation (EP)

Constellation is the first EP released by Norwegian experimental black metal band Arcturus. It was released in only 500 copies on 7" vinyl at 14 August 1994, through the record label Nocturnal Art Productions.

Constellation (sculpture series)

Constellation is a series of outdoor 2000 bronze sculptures by American artist Tad Savinar, installed at Holladay Park in northeast Portland, Oregon, United States. The work's three "distinct elements" include:

  • Constellation (Vase of Flowers) or Constellation: Flowers from a Neighborhood Garden, a slender vase of daisies, hydrangeas and other flowers;
  • Constellation (Molecule) or Constellation: Isolated Molecule for a Good Neighborhood, an abstract molecule representing a "good neighborhood"; and
  • Constellation: Neighborhood Gardiner or simply Constellation, a female figure carrying gardening shears. Regional Arts & Culture Council:

(Vase of Flowers), Portland, Oregon.jpg|Vase of Flowers |Molecule |Neighborhood Gardiner

According to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, which administers the installation, "This project attempts to illustrate the connection between the personal front yard garden and the civic park/garden." The figure depicts a neighborhood activist (Carolyn Marks Backs or Carolyn Marks-Bax, depending on the source). The decision to visualize backs and the objects depicted in the molecule were chosen by the Sullivan Gulch Neighborhood Association. Objects include a bagel, coffee mug, garden tool, house, milk carton, school, a family, and trees. Constellation was funded by the City of Portland's Percent for Art program. It is part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.cultureNOW:

Usage examples of "constellation".

It was hardly what Adams had called for, but it was a start, providing funds to equip and man three frigates, the Constitution, the United States, and the Constellation, which had been built during the Washington administration but remained unequipped for service.

I watched the new constellations wheel far over my head -- Perseus, Medusa, Andromeda, Cepheus, Cassiopeia -- and turned sour.

This conjunction of the Sun with the Moon at the Vernal Equinox, in the constellation Taurus, required the Bull Apis to have on his shoulder a mark resembling the Crescent Moon.

The Astronautical Council had shortly before completed preparations for the reception of visitors from the planets of not too distant stars in the Ophiuchus, Cygnus, Ursa Major and Apus constellations.

Dem Lia stood on nothing, her feet planted steadily on black space, the alien forest ring roughly at her beltline, the stars a huge sphere of constellations and foggy galactic scatterings far above, around, and beyond her.

Beyond the lights from their belts he saw stars, and recognized the constellation for which the space cruiser was named.

November was definitely out of season and the constellation was confined to three minor genome-proteone heiresses, the elderly founder of LearningCurve GmB, two balding Bollywood lotharios, the Van der Bilt girl and him .

Canopus and Achernar high overhead, and Jack showed his attentive midshipmen the new constellations, Musca, Pavo, Chamaeleon and many more, all glowing in the warm, pellucid air.

See his easy hands loving the wheel in a slow clocklike turning as soft and silent as winter constellations snow down the sky.

Constellation of the Countertransference in Relation to the Presentation of Archetypal Dreams.

As the Ecuadorian sees all the constellations of the firmament, so Nature surrounds him with representatives of every family of plants.

Draco Dragon who killed her husband and stole the firewater opal, and he resides at Mount Etamin, which is one of a constellation of peaks in dragon country, near the Region of Air.

The different types were carefully labeled according to the best scientific theories, but the tiny crystal skeletons had been artfully positioned in their trays behind magnifying lenses: in the piped sunlight, the forams glittered in crystal constellations like jeweled tiaras and bracelets and backdrapes.

She waggled a finger at the western sky and a constellation I had never seen before appeareda great snaky showpiece twisted into the rough approximation of a figure eight, glowing with a multicolored mass of gemlike stars.

She checked the autumn constellations, found the polestar, got her directions exactly right.