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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 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 previewGrizzly Bears (2012)

A Falcon Field Guide [tm] by Jack Ballard

An asterism is a smaller, more easily recognized portion ofa constellation. Various American Indian tribesviewedthe Big Dipper asagreat bear(most likely a grizzly) being pursuedby three hunters. The four stars composing the “cup” portion of ...

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 previewPathways to Astronomy (2015)

by Cram101 Textbook Reviews

Asterism: In astronomy, an asterism is a pattern of stars recognized on Earth's night sky. It may form part ...

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 previewA Dictionary, Sanscrit and English: Translated, Amended and Enlarged, From an Original Compilation Prepared by Learned Natives. - Calcutta, Pereira 1819 (1819)

by Horace-Hayman Wilson

The sixteenth lunar asterism, figured by a festoon, and containing four, or according to some, two stars, on of which i8.¢-ol'l. Libra. 1 A cucurbitaceous plant , (Momordica charantia). Med. 8. f1 without WE a branch, or time! the asterism, ...

Google previewSinhalese English Dictionary (1982)

by B. Clough

star, planet; asterism, lunar mansion.

asterism, lunar mansion; of which, according to Sinhalese astronomy, there are twenty-eight in the moon's path: see nakshatra. tnKitdcM ...

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 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 ...

Google previewThe Chambers Dictionary (1998)

Se- asterism r '""•*• " lne common crossfish or five-fingers of sea urchins. — nas'terld ...

Google previewKnowledge Encyclopedia (2013)

by DK

is the Great Square of Pegasus, an asterism (part of a larger constellation). In Piscis Austrinus is Fomalhaut ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Asterism

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Photos about Asterism

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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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