1. <astronomy> A constellation. A small cluster of stars.

2. An asterisk, or mark of reference. Three asterisks placed in this manner, <su:asterism/, to direct attention to a particular passage.

3. <chemistry> An optical property of some crystals which exhibit a star-shaped by reflected light, as star sapphire, or by transmitted light, as some mica.

Origin: Gr, fr. Star; cf. F. Asterisme.

(01 Mar 1998)

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