Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
January 25th, 2015
Episode 87 of 898 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 25, 2015 is: constellate \KAHN-stuh-layt\ verb 1 : to unite in a cluster 2 : to set or adorn with or as if with constellations Examples: "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 firstit dates to at least the 14th century. Constellate didn't appear until a full 300 years later.
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