- a group or cluster of stars that may or may not form a constellation
- Mineralogy a starlike figure produced in some crystals by reflected or transmitted light
- Printing three asterisks placed in triangular form (? or ?) to call attention to a passage
Origin of asterismClassical Greek asterismos, a marking with stars ; from asterizein, to mark with stars ; from ast?r, star
- Printing Three asterisks in a triangular formation used to call attention to a following passage.
- Astronomy A pattern of stars that is not one of the traditionally established, named constellations, such as the Big Dipper or the Summer Triangle. Asterisms are often named and may be composed of stars that are members of one or more constellations.
- Mineralogy A six-rayed starlike figure optically produced in some crystal structures by reflected or transmitted light.
Origin of asterismGreek asterismos, constellation, from ast&emacron;r, star; see ster-3 in Indo-European roots.
- (astronomy) A small group of stars that forms a visible pattern but is not an official constellation.
- The Big Dipper, Summer Triangle, and Orion's Belt are asterisms.
- A rarely used typographical symbol (⁂, three asterisks arranged in a triangle), used to call attention to a passage or to separate subchapters in a book.
- (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).
From Ancient Greek ἀστερισμός (asterismos, “group of stars”), from ἀστήρ (astēr, “star”).