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January 25, 2015

Word of the Day

  • constellate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KAHN-stuh-layt\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1 : to unite in a cluster 2 : to set or adorn with or as if with constellations

  • EXAMPLE

"The members of the family seemed destined to constellate around a table, held by the gravity of our affection for each other." — Elsa M. Bowman, Christian Science Monitor, July 11, 1996

"The band is currently a three-piece, led by guitar-wielding singer Brett Kerr, 24, of North Muskegon. The group originally constellated around his songwriting in 2009." — Lou Jeannot, Muskegon (Michigan) Chronicle, July 1, 2010

  • DID YOU KNOW?

It's plain that constellate is related to constellation, and, indeed, things that "constellate" (or "are constellated") cluster together like stars in a constellation. Both words derive ultimately from the Latin word for "star," which is stella. Constellation (which came to us by way of Middle French from Late Latin constellation-, constellatio) entered the language first—it dates to at least the 14th century. Constellate didn't appear until a full 300 years later.

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