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Definition of the noun asterism

What does asterism mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: asterisms

  1. (mineralogy) a star-shaped figure with six rays that is seen in some crystal structures under reflected or transmitted light
    • domain: mineralogy
    • lexical domain: Shapes - nouns denoting two and three dimensional shapes
    • more generic word: star = a plane figure with 5 or more points
  2. (astronomy) a cluster of stars (or a small constellation)

Alternative definition of the noun asterism


  1. [constellation] A small group of stars that forms a visible pattern but is not an official constellation.
  2. A rarely used typographical symbol (⁂, three asterisks arranged in a triangle), used to call attention to a passage or to separate sub-chapters in a book.
  3. [mineralogy] A star-shaped figure exhibited by some crystals by reflected light (as in a star sapphire) or by transmitted light (as in some mica).


"Asterism" is a composition.


  1. Asterism: Asteria, or star stone is a name applied to ornamental stones that exhibit a luminous star when cut en cabochon. The typical asteria is the star-sapphire, generally a bluish-grey corundum, milky or opalescent, with a star of six rays. In red corundum the stellate reflection is less common, and hence the star-ruby occasionally found with the star-sapphire in Ceylon is among the most valued of "fancy stones". When the radiation is shown by yellow corundum, the stone is called star-topaz. Cymophane, the chatoyant chrysoberyl known as cat's eye, may also be asteriated. In all these cases the asterism is due to the reflection of light from twin-lamellae or from fine tubular cavities or thin enclosures definitely arranged in the stone. The astrion of Pliny the Elder is believed to have been a moonstone, since it is described as a colourless stone from India having within it the appearance of a star shining with the light of the moon. Star-stones were formerly regarded with much superstition.
  2. Asterism: In typography, an asterism, from the Greek astēr, is a rarely used and nearly obsolete symbol consisting of three asterisks placed in a triangle. It is used to "indicate minor breaks in text," call attention to a passage, or to separate sub-chapters in a book. It is Unicode character U+2042 ⁂ asterism. In Windows it is possible to use the key combination ALT+8258 to produce the character, but it has very limited support in the default fonts.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Asterism

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewGrizzly Bears (2012)

A Falcon Field Guide by Jack Ballard

An asterism is a smaller, more easily recognized portion of a constellation. Various American Indian tribes viewed the Big Dipper as a great bear (most likely a grizzly) being pursued by three hunters. The four stars composing the “cup” portion ...

Google previewThe Handy Astronomy Answer Book (2013)

by Charles Liu, PhD

An asterism is a group of stars in the sky that, when viewed from Earth, create an outline of some recognizable shape or pattern. Two well-known asterisms are the Big Dipper, which many astronomers use to point out the location of the North ...

Google previewA Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (1996)

by Frederick H. Pough

Asterism is the 4- or 6-rayed star shown by some ...

Google previewTeach Yourself VISUALLY Astronomy (2008)

by Richard Talcott

An asterism is a group of stars that forms an identifiable shape but does not, by itself, represent a constellation. In the Big Dipper's case, the seven stars make up only a small part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The Big Dipper ...

Google previewExploring Ancient Skies (2011)

A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy by David H. Kelley, Eugene F. Milone

Today, constellations refer to specified areas on the celestial sphere, whereas an asterism is any apparent grouping of stars. Indeed, one could be forgiven for describing the ancient “constellations” as asterisms. With some exceptions, in ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Science (2017)

by Jonathan Law

asterism. A pattern of stars that forms a separate entity within a larger constellation. For example, the Plough forms an asterism within the constellation Ursa Major (Great Bear). asteroids. (planetoids) A number of *small solar system bodies ...

Google previewIllustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy (2012)

by C. R. Kitchin

asterism 1 A recognisable collection of bright stars that is not a constellation, such as the seven stars that form the Plough (or Big Dipper) within the constellation of Ursa Major. 2A star cluster with only a few member stars. The asterism known ...

Google previewA Classical Dictionary of India (1871)

Asvini — A lunar asterism in Nagavithi, the first vithi in the northern Avasthana. Asvina — " The Asvins seem to have been a puzzle even to the oldest Indian commentators." (Muir.) Professor Roth says "they are the earliest bringers of light in ...

Google previewBlackie’s Dictionary of Physics

by Blackie

Asterism Astronautics Asterism: A constellation or small group of unrelated stars. Asteroid: An asteriod is a lump of rock which orbits around the sun. (The biggest asteroids are about 100km across, although many are 1km or less across.

Google previewA dictionary of high and colloquial Malayalim and English (1846)

dedicated by permission to His Highness the Rajah of Travancore by Benjamin Bailey

the tenth lunar asterism. Cbc&o.

Google previewA Dictionary of the English and Singhalese, and Singhalese and English Languages (1830)

by Benjamin Clough

a sinr, a planet; an asterism. a lunar mansion rism, pleiades esngca p/nyj sport) a ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Asterism

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Photo about Asterism



Photo credit: mrhayata

Scrabble value of A1S1T1E1R1I1S1M3

The value of this 8-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of ASTERISM

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