See also: Cluster and clúster

English

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Etymology

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The noun is derived from Middle English cluster (bunch, cluster, spray; compact body or mass, ball) [and other forms],[1] from Old English cluster, clyster (cluster, bunch, branch), from Proto-Germanic *klas-, *klus- (to clump, lump together) (possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to ball up; to clench; to amass)) + *-þrą (suffix forming nouns denoting an instrument or tool).[2] The English word is probably a doublet of clot.

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

Pronunciation

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Noun

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cluster (plural clusters)

  1. A bunch or group of several discrete items that are close to each other.
    a cluster of islands
    A cluster of flowers grew in the pot.
    • 1595, Ed. Spencer [i.e., Edmund Spenser], Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, London: [] T[homas] C[reede] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC, signature D, recto:
      Her deeds vvere like great gluſters of ripe grapes, / VVhich load the bunches of the fruitfull vine: / Offring to fall into each mouth that gapes, / And fill the ſame vvith ſtore of timely vvine.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Micah 7:1, column 1:
      VVoe is mee, for I am as when they haue gathered the ſummer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluſter to eate: my ſoule deſired the firſt ripe fruit.
    • 1662, Bartholinus [i.e., Thomas Bartholin], “Of the Back-bone and Its Vertebra’s in General”, in Nicholas Culpeper and Abdiah Cole, transl., Bartholinus Anatomy; [] (The Physitian’s Library), London: [] Peter Cole [], →OCLC, 4th and last manual (Of the Bones and also of the Gristles and Ligaments []), page 349, column 2:
      The Father of Nic. Fontanus ſavv five Vertebræ or VVhirle-bones of the Spina in a cluſter like a round ball, in the Body of a Porter that carried burthens.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: [], London: [] Nath[aniel] Ponder [], →OCLC; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, [], 1928, →OCLC, page 66:
      Then I ſavv in my Dream, that theſe good Companions, vvhen Chriſtian vvas gone dovvn to the bottom of the Hill, gave him a loaf of Bread, a bottle of VVine, and a cluſter of Raiſins; and then he vvent on his vvay.
    • 1697, William Dampier, chapter XVII, in A New Voyage Round the World. [], London: [] James Knapton, [], →OCLC, page 476:
      [A]ll the cluſter of Iſlands lying South of the Audeman [i.e., Andaman] Iſlands are called by our Seamen the Nicobar Iſlands.
    • 1713, Edward Young, “Book I”, in A Poem on the Last Day, Oxford: [] Edward Whistler, →OCLC, page 16:
      Spread all thy Purple Cluſters, Tempting Vine, / And Thou, once Dreaded Foe, Bright Beauty, ſhine, []
    • 1907 January, Harold Bindloss, “The Descent of Santa Maria”, in The Dust of Conflict, 1st Canadian edition, Toronto, Ont.: McLeod & Allen, →OCLC, page 66:
      Then there was no more cover, for they straggled out, not in ranks but clusters, from among orange trees and tall, flowering shrubs, []
    • 2011 December 29, Keith Jackson, “SPL [Scottish Premier League]: Celtic 1 Rangers 0”, in Daily Record[1], Glasgow, Scotland: Reach plc, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2021-06-16:
      Charlie Mulgrew's delicious deadball delivery was attacked by a cluster of green and white shirts at [Allan] McGregor's back post but [Joe] Ledley got up higher and with more purpose than anyone else to thump a header home from five yards.
    • 2018 December 10, Jon Gertner, “The Race to Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier”, in Wired[2], San Francisco, Calif.: Condé Nast Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-03-27:
      The easiest way is to fly from Los Angeles to Christchurch, New Zealand—a journey of 17 hours, if you're lucky—and then to McMurdo, a charmless cluster of buildings that houses most of the southern continent's thousand or so seasonal residents and both of its ATMs.
    1. (astronomy) A group of galaxies, nebulae, or stars that appear to the naked eye to be near each other.
      (of galaxies): Synonym: galaxy cluster
      (of stars): Synonym: star cluster
      Hyponyms: globular cluster, open cluster
      The Pleiades cluster contains seven bright stars.
      • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City, Calif.: BioWare/Electronic Arts, →ISBN, PC, scene: Citadel:
        My fellow biotic: You have been selected to receive this transmission because of our shared plight. Few understand us, fewer tolerate us. We must stand together. We must build our own new world. Come. Join us in the Hawking Eta cluster. Only as one body can we right the wrongs done to our kind.
    2. (physical chemistry) An ensemble of bound atoms (especially of a metal) or molecules, intermediate in size between a molecule and a bulk solid.
    3. (computing)
      1. A group of computers that work together.
        • 2011, Fayez Gebali, “Parallel Computers”, in Algorithms and Parallel Computing (Wiley Series on Parallel Computing and Distributed Computing; 82), Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, section 3.7 (Cluster Computing), page 60:
          A computer cluster is a collection of two or more computers used to execute a given problem or section. Typically, in a computer cluster, the interconnection network tying the computers together is a local area network (LAN). [] The computers in the cluster communicate among themselves and among the shared memory.
      2. A logical data storage unit containing one or more physical sectors (see block (noun)).
    4. (epidemiology) A group of cases of the same disease occurring around the same place or time.
      A leukemia cluster has developed in the town.
    5. (linguistics) Synonym of lexical bundle (a sequence of two or more words that occur in a language with high frequency but are not idiomatic)
      Synonyms: bundle, chunk
      examples of clusters would include in accordance with, so far, and the results of
    6. (military)
      1. A set of bombs or mines released as part of the same blast.
      2. (US) In full oak leaf cluster: a small bronze or silver device shaped like a twig of oak leaves and acorns which is worn on a ribbon to indicate that the wearer has been conferred the same award or decoration before; an oakleaf.
    7. (music) A secundal chord of three or more notes.
    8. (phonetics) A pronounceable group of consonants that occur together: a consonant cluster.
      The word scrub begins with a cluster of three consonants.
    9. (statistics) In cluster analysis: a subset of a population whose members are similar enough to each other and distinct from others as to be considered a separate group; also, such a grouping in a set of observed data that is statistically significant.
  2. A number of individuals (animals or people) collected in one place or grouped together; a crowd, a mob, a swarm.
    • c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene vi], page 24, column 2:
      VVe lou'd him, / But like Beaſts / And Covvardly Nobles, / Gaue vvay vnto your Cluſters, vvho did hoote / Him out o' th' Citty.
    • 1625, [Samuel] Purchas, “The Voyage of Sir Francis Alvarez [i.e., Francisco Álvares], a Portugall Priest, Made vnto the Court of Prete Ianni, the Great Christian Emperour of Ethio”, in Purchas His Pilgrimes. [], 2nd part, London: [] William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, [], →OCLC, 7th book, § IIII, page 1045:
      [T]hey all alight, and then they go to the ſecond gate, and if peraduenture they cannot get in, they ſit there vvithout, as Bees doe in the Sunne, all in a cluſter.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 768–772:
      As Bees / In ſpring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides, / Poure forth their populous youth about the Hive / In cluſters; they among freſh dews and flowers / Flie to and fro, []
    • 2013 May–June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist[3], volume 101, number 3, New Haven, Conn.: Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, →DOI, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2013-06-16, pages 206–207:
      Earless ghost swift moths become "invisible" to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  3. (slang) Euphemistic form of clusterfuck (a chaotic situation where everything seems to go wrong).

Derived terms

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Descendants

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

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cluster (third-person singular simple present clusters, present participle clustering, simple past and past participle clustered)

  1. (transitive, chiefly passive voice)
    1. To collect (animals, people, or objects) into clusters (noun sense 1).
    2. To cover (with clusters); to scatter or strew in clusters (within); to distribute (objects) within such that they form clusters.
      The sea is clustered with islands.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To form a cluster or group; to assemble, to gather.
      The children clustered around the puppy.
      • 1578, Rembert Dodoens, “Of Brionie”, in Henry Lyte, transl., A Niewe Herball, or Historie of Plantes: [], London [actually Antwerp]: [] [Hendrik van der Loe for] Gerard Dewes, [], →OCLC, page 380:
        [T]he fruite cluſtereth togyther lyke to ſmal grapes, which in the beginning is greene, and afterwarde when it is ripe, al blacke.
      • 1742, [Edward Young], “Night the Third. Narcissa. []”, in The Complaint: Or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality, London: [] R[obert] Dodsley, [], and T. Cooper, [], →OCLC, page 6:
        VVoes cluſter; rare are ſolitary VVoes; / They love a Train; they tread each other's Heel: []
      • 1798, [William Wordsworth], “We are Seven”, in Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems, London: [] J[ohn] & A[rthur] Arch, [], →OCLC, stanza 2, page 110:
        I met a little cottage girl, / She was eight years old, she said; / Her hair was thick with many a curl / That cluster'd round her head.
      • 1827, [John Keble], “Thursday before Easter”, in The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays throughout the Year, volume I, Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] [B]y W. Baxter, for J. Parker; and C[harles] and J[ohn] Rivington, [], →OCLC, stanza 4, page 134:
        Oh grief to think, that grapes of gall / Should cluster round thine healthiest shoot!
      • 1832 December (indicated as 1833), Alfred Tennyson, “Œnone”, in Poems, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, page 54:
        [H]is sunny hair / Clustered about his temples like a God's: []
      • 1832 December (indicated as 1833), Alfred Tennyson, “The Hesperides”, in Poems, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, stanza IV, page 106:
        The luscious fruitage clustereth mellowly, / Goldenkernelled, goldencored, / Sunset-ripened above on the tree.
      • 1853 August, Fanny Green, “Spirit Guests”, in The Journal of Progress; [], volume II, number 1, New York, N.Y.: Harmonial Association, →OCLC, page 12, column 2:
        While their soft and humid kisses / To her conscious lips they press, / Like a spiral sunbeam floating, / Clustereth every golden tress; []
      • 1854, Barton Bouchier, “Thursday Morning”, in The Ark in the House: Or, A Series of Family Prayers for a Month; with Prayers for Special Occasions, London: John Farquhar Shaw, [], →OCLC, page 205:
        It is Thou, Lord, who hast put far from us these sorrows, who still sparest every member of our household, the olive-branches round about our table, and the vine that clustereth on the walls of our house.
      • 1855, Charles Linton, chapter XV, in The Healing of the Nations. [], New York, N.Y.: Society for the Diffusion of Spiritual Knowledge, →OCLC, paragraph 156, page 244:
        Around the little bud clustereth volumes of high and pure thoughts.
      • 1864 July 3, Ada Clare, The “Blue Stocking”; reproduced in “Ada Clare (1836–1874)”, in Ida Rae Egli, editor, No Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers of Early California, Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books in association with Rick Heide, 1992, →ISBN, page 326:
        All that is hard and harsh, and graceless in nature clustereth around her.
      • 1997, Lynn Keller, “Grand Collage Out of Bounds: Feminist Serial Poems by Beverly Dahlen and Rachel Blau DuPlessis”, in Forms of Expansion: Recent Long Poems by Women, Chicago, Ill., London: University of Chicago Press, →ISBN, page 281:
        On the page, "Me" [a poem by Rachel Blau DuPlessis] is irregular but—except for a prominent drawing of a two-toned hieroglyphic eye—not radically unusual: the lines are consistently left-justified; their length varies from one to a dozen syllables; they cluster in stanzalike units anywhere from one to six lines long that are separated by consistent spaces.

Conjugation

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Derived terms

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Translations

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References

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  1. ^ cluster, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare cluster, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2023; cluster, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ cluster, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2022; cluster, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading

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Anagrams

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Dutch

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English cluster.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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cluster f or m or m (plural clusters, diminutive clustertje n)

  1. cluster
  2. (astronomy) star cluster
    Synonyms: sterrencluster, sterrenhoop, sterrenzwerm

Derived terms

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French

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English cluster.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /klœs.tœʁ/, /klys.tœʁ/
  • Audio:(file)

Noun

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cluster m (plural clusters)

  1. cluster

Portuguese

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Etymology

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Unadapted borrowing from English cluster.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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cluster m (plural clusters)

  1. cluster (group or bunch of similar elements)
  2. (economics) industrial cluster
  3. (music) cluster (chord of three or more notes)
  4. (computing) cluster (group of computers working concurrently)

Spanish

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Noun

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cluster m (plural clusters or cluster)

  1. Alternative form of clúster