noun \ˈsfir\

: a round object

geometry : a three-dimensional shape that looks like a ball

: an area of influence or activity

Full Definition of SPHERE

a (1) :  the apparent surface of the heavens of which half forms the dome of the visible sky (2) :  any of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which according to ancient astronomy stars, sun, planets, and moon are set
b :  a globe depicting such a sphere; broadly :  globe a
a :  a globular body :  ball
b :  planet, star
c (1) :  a solid that is bounded by a surface consisting of all points at a given distance from a point constituting its center — see volume table
(2) :  the bounding surface of a sphere
:  natural, normal, or proper place; especially :  social order or rank <not in the same sphere as his moneyed friends>
a obsolete :  orbit
b :  an area or range over or within which someone or something acts, exists, or has influence or significance <the public sphere>
spher·ic \ˈsfir-ik, ˈsfer-\ adjective, archaic
sphe·ric·i·ty \sfir-ˈi-sə-tē\ noun

Examples of SPHERE

  1. All points on a sphere are the same distance from the center.
  2. Women at that time were confined to the domestic sphere.
  3. They recognize that jobs in the public sphere are valuable.

Origin of SPHERE

Middle English spere globe, celestial sphere, from Anglo-French espere, from Latin sphaera, from Greek sphaira, literally, ball; perhaps akin to Greek spairein to quiver — more at spurn
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to SPHERE

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith


transitive verb

Definition of SPHERE

:  to place in a sphere or among the spheres :  ensphere
:  to form into a sphere

First Known Use of SPHERE



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In geometry, the set of all points in three-dimensional space lying the same distance (the radius) from a given point (the centre), or the result of rotating a circle about one of its diameters. The components and properties of a sphere are analogous to those of a circle. A diameter is any line segment connecting two points of a sphere and passing through its centre. The circumference is the length of any great circle, the intersection of the sphere with any plane passing through its centre. A meridian is any great circle passing through a point designated a pole. A geodesic, the shortest distance between any two points on a sphere, is an arc of the great circle through the two points. The formula for determining a sphere's surface area is 4r2; its volume is determined by ()r3. The study of spheres is basic to terrestrial geography and is one of the principal areas of Euclidean geometry and elliptic geometry.


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