spher·​i·​cal | \ ˈsfir-i-kəl How to pronounce spherical (audio) , ˈsfer- \

Definition of spherical

1 : having the form of a sphere or of one of its segments
2 : relating to or dealing with a sphere or its properties

Other Words from spherical

spherically \ ˈsfir-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spherical (audio) , ˈsfer-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for spherical



  • nonspherical
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Something spherical is like a sphere in being round, or more or less round, in three dimensions. Apples and oranges are both spherical, for example, even though they're never perfectly round. A spheroid has a roughly spherical shape; so an asteroid, for instance, is often spheroidal—fairly round, but lumpy.

Examples of spherical in a Sentence

the planet Earth is not, in fact, perfectly spherical
Recent Examples on the Web The first, apparently captured from a smartphone, shows a small spherical object that whisks past the cockpit of a U.S. Navy strike fighter in the blink of an eye. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 18 May 2022 One clip of a video showed the view from the cockpit of an aircraft and a split second flash of a spherical object flying to the right of the aircraft. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 17 May 2022 MacCallum said the design’s new exterior, which moved from a squat top and bottom to a more spherical shape, required about 130 mockups. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 27 July 2022 Similar molecules discovered in the same experiments were called fullerenes, because their spherical shape resembled the geodesic domes built by Buckminster Fuller. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 15 July 2022 Starquakes distort the appearance of stars in a specific way, not just inflating them evenly in a spherical shape. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 16 June 2022 The highlight of the hearing was a split-second image, shot last year through the window of an FA-18 fighter jet, of a spherical object in the distance. New York Times, 17 May 2022 The split-second image, shot through the window of an FA-18 fighter jet, shows a spherical object in the distance. Julian E. Barnes, BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2022 Along with its unique vehicles, what made the race special was the venue, a giant spherical structure called La Boule. Dhananjay Khadilkar, Ars Technica, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of spherical

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spherical

Time Traveler

The first known use of spherical was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near spherical

sphere of influence


spherical aberration

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Statistics for spherical

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spherical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spherical. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spherical


spher·​i·​cal | \ ˈsfir-i-kəl How to pronounce spherical (audio) , ˈsfer- \

Kids Definition of spherical

: relating to or having the form of a sphere

More from Merriam-Webster on spherical

Nglish: Translation of spherical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spherical for Arabic Speakers


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