a group of stars.
Mineralogy. a property of some crystallized minerals of showing a starlike luminous figure in transmitted light or, in a cabochon-cut stone, by reflected light.
three asterisks ( or ) printed to draw attention to a passage it precedes.
- as·ter·is·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use asterism in a sentence
On p. 291, the asterism (three asterisks forming a triangle) is represented simply three asterisks.
In this noble asterism the figure of a giant ascending a slope can be readily discerned when the constellation is due south.Myths and Marvels of Astronomy | Richard A. Proctor
This asterism was confessedly first taken notice of by Perez or Perseus, by which is meant the Persians.
In memorial of this altar an asterism was formed in the Sphere, denominated βωμος, ara.
The principal stars of this asterism are of the third magnitude, with the exception of α, which is of the first.Astronomy for Amateurs | Camille Flammarion
British Dictionary definitions for asterism
three asterisks arranged in a triangle (⁂ or ), to draw attention to the text that follows
a starlike effect seen in some minerals and gemstones when viewed by reflected or transmitted light
a cluster of stars, which may be a subset or a superset of a constellation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for asterism
A pattern of stars that is not one of the traditionally established, named constellations. Asterisms may constitute a part of a larger constellation, as in the case of the seven stars in Ursa Major that make up the Big Dipper, or they may be formed of individual stars in several different constellations, as in the case of the Summer Triangle, made up of Deneb (in Cygnus), Altair (in Aquila), and Vega (in Lyra).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.