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

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Other Words from spherical

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for spherical



  • nonspherical
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Did You Know?

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 result is a lot of indestructible Triso fuel particles that are next pressed by the tens of thousands into cylindrical or spherical fuel pellets. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past," 30 June 2020 The project was meant to consist of thousands of small spherical sensors strung like pearls along lines tethered to the seafloor near Hawaii. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Hunt Is On for Elusive Ghost Particles in Antarctica," 12 June 2020 Manuel Fortin also used a diagram to show how some rays from A would miss B if A and B were spherical objects. Quanta Magazine, "Why Our Perpetual Energy Puzzle Fails," 22 May 2020 The unique design uses four lenses—three that look sideways and one that points straight up—to capture a spherical view of everything happening around you. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "These 360-Degree Cameras Have Seen It All," 21 Apr. 2020 In the 1790s, Lequeu imagined spherical temples to reason and equality that would celebrate the new republic (the National Convention rejected them all). New York Times, "18 Art Exhibitions (and 1 Architectural Wonder) in N.Y.C. Right Now," 12 Mar. 2020 This is a big, almost spherical cloud of objects at the very edge of our Solar System. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "How many of our comets come from alien solar systems?," 8 Jan. 2020 What should have been spherical deformed into something considerably elliptical. Robin George Andrews, National Geographic, "The moon may have stretched early Earth into a potato shape," 15 Apr. 2020 Floor-control is used for all transmissions; a rugged lever with a large spherical knob for the manual options and a T-handle for the automatic. Car and Driver, "Tested: 1964-1/2 Ford Mustang," 17 Apr. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for spherical

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spherical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spherical. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for spherical


How to pronounce spherical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spherical

: having the shape of a sphere


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

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