sphere

1 of 3

noun

1
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 sense a
2
a
: a globular body : ball
b
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 Formulas Table
(2)
: the bounding surface of a sphere
3
: natural, normal, or proper place
especially : social order or rank
not in the same sphere as his moneyed friends
4
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
spheric
ˈsfir-ik How to pronounce sphere (audio)
ˈsfer-
adjective archaic
sphericity noun

sphere

2 of 3

verb

sphered; sphering

transitive verb

1
: to place in a sphere or among the spheres : ensphere
2
: to form into a sphere

-sphere

3 of 3

combining form

ˌsfir
1
: zone, layer or region enveloping or radiating from the earth or another celestial body
ionosphere
magnetosphere
2
: collectivity : totality (as specified by the initial element)
biosphere
blogosphere

Examples of sphere in a Sentence

Noun All points on a sphere are the same distance from the center. Women at that time were confined to the domestic sphere. They recognize that jobs in the public sphere are valuable.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Meanwhile, one of the Tory’s final acts in the culture sphere was to bring in a long-gestating 40% indie film tax credit, which Frazer recently told us will bring balance to a movie sector that has swung too far towards big-budget fare in recent years. Max Goldbart, Deadline, 5 July 2024 Friends and family mingled outside before everyone was led into the hotel via a hot pink carpet lined with arches of greenery and hanging floral spheres, flower arrangements in wicker pedestal vases, and lots and lots of draping. Alexandra MacOn, Vogue, 3 July 2024
Verb
The night culminated with a countdown as a glowing geodesic sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing almost six tons descended from its lofty perch atop One Times Square. CBS News, 1 Jan. 2023 And young people are innovating outside that sphere as well, including Southern-gothic singer-songwriter Ethel Cain and art-rockers Geese. Vulture, 6 June 2022 See all Example Sentences for sphere 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sphere.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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 entry 1

Combining form

extracted from atmosphere

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sphere was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sphere

Cite this Entry

“Sphere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sphere. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

sphere

noun
ˈsfi(ə)r
1
a
: a globe-shaped body : ball, globe
b
: a solid geometric shape whose surface is made up of all the points that are an equal distance from the point that is the shape's center
c
: the surface of a sphere
2
: a field of influence or activity
the public sphere
sphericity
sfir-ˈis-ət-ē
noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sphere

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