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[kluhs-ter] /ˈklʌs tər/
a number of things of the same kind, growing or held together; a bunch:
a cluster of grapes.
a group of things or persons close together:
There was a cluster of tourists at the gate.
U.S. Army. a small metal design placed on a ribbon representing an awarded medal to indicate that the same medal has been awarded again:
oak-leaf cluster.
Phonetics. a succession of two or more contiguous consonants in an utterance, as the str- cluster of strap.
Astronomy. a group of neighboring stars, held together by mutual gravitation, that have essentially the same age and composition and thus supposedly a common origin.
verb (used with object)
to gather into a cluster or clusters.
to furnish or cover with clusters.
verb (used without object)
to form a cluster or clusters:
The people clustered around to watch.
Origin of cluster
before 900; Middle English; Old English cluster, clyster bunch; cognate with Low German kluster
Related forms
clusteringly, adverb
clustery, adjective
intercluster, adjective
subcluster, noun
unclustered, adjective
unclustering, adjective
8. group, gather, throng, crowd, bunch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clustering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not a spot, indoors or out, but has its clustering memories.

    The Jonathan Papers Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris
  • Wistaria and early roses, clustering in, had but the ghost of color on their blossoms.

    The Freelands John Galsworthy
  • He had soon forgotten the girl with the dark eyes and clustering hair, and entered his princely home on the slopes of Coressus.

    Saronia Richard Short
  • One by one, the multitude of clustering objects added to the din.

    Space Platform Murray Leinster
  • The galley slaves, now freed from their chains and clustering in angry groups, menaced the intruders.

  • And I laid my burning hand on her head weighted with its clustering curls of gold.

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • Tom Burton rode slowly away, and presently the fireless chimneys of Fairford were lost to sight behind the clustering trees.

    The Life of Nancy Sarah Orne Jewett
  • If he voyaged with the crowd, his pennant would be lost in the clustering sails!

    The Weavers, Complete Gilbert Parker
British Dictionary definitions for clustering


a number of things growing, fastened, or occurring close together
a number of persons or things grouped together
(US, military) a metal insignia worn on a medal ribbon to indicate a second award or a higher class of a decoration or order
  1. a group of bombs dropped in one stick, esp fragmentation and incendiary bombs
  2. the basic unit of mines used in laying a minefield
(astronomy) an aggregation of stars or galaxies moving together through space
a group of two or more consecutive vowels or consonants
(statistics) a naturally occurring subgroup of a population used in stratified sampling
  1. a chemical compound or molecule containing groups of metal atoms joined by metal-to-metal bonds
  2. the group of linked metal atoms present
to gather or be gathered in clusters
Derived Forms
clustered, adjective
clusteringly, adverb
clustery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English clyster; related to Low German Kluster; see clod, clot
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
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Word Origin and History for clustering



Old English clyster "cluster," probably from the same root as clot (n.). Of stars, from 1727. Cluster-bomb attested from 1967.


late 14c. (transitive), from cluster (n.). Intransitive sense from 1540s. Related: Clustered; clustering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clustering in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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