hemisphere

noun
hemi·​sphere | \ ˈhe-mə-ˌsfir How to pronounce hemisphere (audio) \

Definition of hemisphere

1a : a half of the celestial sphere as divided into two halves by the horizon (see horizon sense 1b), the celestial equator, or the ecliptic
b : half of a spherical or roughly spherical body (such as a planet) specifically : the northern or southern half of the earth as divided by the equator (see equator sense 2) or the eastern or western half as divided by a meridian (see meridian sense 4a(2)) affected by the weather in the other hemisphere
c : the inhabitants of a hemisphere of the Earth
2 : an area of knowledge or activity : sphere, province a hemisphere of life heretofore unknown to us
3 : one of two half spheres (see sphere entry 1 sense 2a) formed by a plane (see plane entry 1 sense 2a) through the sphere's center : half of a round object
4 : a map or projection of a celestial hemisphere (see hemisphere sense 1a) or a terrestrial hemisphere (see hemisphere sense 1b)
5 : cerebral hemisphere an injury to the left hemisphere

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Other Words from hemisphere

hemispheric \ ˌhe-​mə-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce hemispheric (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ or hemispherical \ ˌhe-​mə-​ˈsfir-​i-​kəl How to pronounce hemispherical (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

Hemisphere includes the prefix hemi-, meaning "half". The northern and southern hemispheres are divided by the equator, the circle halfway between Earth's two poles. The eastern and western hemispheres aren't divided so exactly, since there are no poles in the Earth's east-west dimension. Often the dividing line is said to be the "prime meridian"—the imaginary north-south line that runs through Greenwich, England, from which all longitude is calculated (itself being the 0° meridian). But for simplicity's sake, the eastern hemisphere is often said to include all of Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia, while the western hemisphere contains North and South America and a great deal of ocean.

Examples of hemisphere in a Sentence

a tumor in the right cerebral hemisphere

Recent Examples on the Web

Everything was orange, particularly in the left hemisphere. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "The Neuroscience of Pain," 9 May 2016 The planum temporale is highly asymmetric—larger in the left hemisphere—a characteristic thought to be part of the human evolution to specialize brain areas for language. Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, "Marvel Comics Gets Inside the Heads of the Avengers," 21 Aug. 2014 Beyond human sacrifice, tribal and civilizational conflicts existed long before Columbus set foot in this hemisphere. Alejandro Bermudez, WSJ, "Catholics Against Columbus," 24 Jan. 2019 But this incident raises a troubling question: If murals that portray Columbus bringing the faith to this hemisphere are not welcome at a Catholic university, what part of Catholic identity is? Alejandro Bermudez, WSJ, "Catholics Against Columbus," 24 Jan. 2019 Thus, assigning a particular function to one hemisphere could allow sharks to maintain cognitive function, performing multiple actions simultaneously—such as navigating while also searching for prey—even with relatively smaller brains. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Changes Is Rewiring Sharks' Brains," 3 Dec. 2018 Ender has traveled the world and has worked for various technology companies from both hemispheres. Andrada Fiscutean, Ars Technica, "The adventures of lab ED011—“Nobody would be able to duplicate what happened there”," 27 Aug. 2018 The statement by Maduro came two days after his reelection victory in a vote that was condemned as illegitimate by the United States and nations across the hemisphere. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, BostonGlobe.com, "Venezuela announces the expulsion of two top US diplomats," 23 May 2018 The growth in drug trafficking has fueled violence in Honduras, one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries that has one of the world’s highest murder rates. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "U.S. Files Drug Charges Against Brother of Honduran President," 26 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hemisphere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hemisphere

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

History and Etymology for hemisphere

Middle English hemispere, from Latin hemisphaerium, from Greek hēmisphairion, from hēmi- + sphairion, diminutive of sphaira sphere

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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The first known use of hemisphere was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hemisphere

hemisphere

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hemisphere

: a half of the Earth
: half of a sphere : half of a round object
technical : either of the two halves of the brain

hemisphere

noun
hemi·​sphere | \ ˈhe-mə-ˌsfir How to pronounce hemisphere (audio) \

Kids Definition of hemisphere

1 : one of the halves of the earth as divided by the equator or by a meridian
2 : a half of a sphere
3 : either the left or the right half of the cerebrum

Other Words from hemisphere

hemispheric \ ˌhem-​ə-​ˈsfir-​ik , -​ˈsfer-​ \ or hemispherical \ -​ˈsfir-​i-​kəl , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective

hemisphere

noun
hemi·​sphere | \ -ˌsfi(ə)r How to pronounce hemisphere (audio) \

Medical Definition of hemisphere

: half of a spherical structure or organ: as
b : either of the two lobes of the cerebellum of which one projects laterally and posteriorly from each side of the vermis

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More from Merriam-Webster on hemisphere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hemisphere

Spanish Central: Translation of hemisphere

Nglish: Translation of hemisphere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hemisphere for Arabic Speakers

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