October 15, 2013
constellation (noun)
\kahn-stuh-LAY-shun\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: any of 88 groups of stars forming patterns
How do you use it?
During our trip to the planetarium, we learned to identify the constellations Cassiopeia, Ursa Major, and Orion.
Are you a word wiz?

When do you think the word "constellation" entered the English language?

The word "constellation" was part of English by the 14th century. It was adopted into Middle English as "constellacioun" from Anglo-French, the French language used in Medieval England. We can trace it further to the Latin "constellation" which was formed by combining the prefix "com-", meaning "with, together" and "stella" meaning "star." "Constellation" belongs to a star-studded family that includes "astronomy," "astronaut," "stellar" and "astral" (both meaning "relating to stars"), and "star" itself.
Archive RSS Feed