spherical

adjective
spher·i·cal | \ˈsfir-i-kəl, 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, ˈsfer- \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for spherical

Synonyms

global, globular, round

Antonyms

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

These nearly perfectly spherical stones started life in a volcanic lava flow. Barbara Henry, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Geode collectors depend on skill, luck to pick out special pieces," 20 June 2018 Some choanoflagellates themselves can form spherical colonies. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The momentous transition to multicellular life may not have been so hard after all," 28 June 2018 Working during the South Pole summer, when the sun never sets and temperatures hover at a balmy negative 18 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists and engineers melted dozens of mile-deep holes in the ice and dropped strings of spherical sensors into them. Author: Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 Working during the South Pole summer, when the sun never sets and temperatures hover at a balmy negative 18 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists and engineers melted dozens of mile-deep holes in the ice and dropped strings of spherical sensors into them. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect 'ghost particles' from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 Meet Donut Fries, which transform those beloved spherical pastries, doughnuts, into a bag of sugar-sweet sticks with the portability of french fries, the ideal junk food for life on the run. Alexa Imani Spencer, USA TODAY, "Doughnuts in stick form: Dunkin' debuts Donut Fries," 27 June 2018 Some planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, are less than perfectly spherical because the force of their rotation distorts their shape. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "What’s the Difference Between Moths and Butterflies and More Questions From Our Readers," 19 Apr. 2018 Normally served as a cone, j/wata makes its temaki in a spherical shape, allowing for all of the ingredients to be eaten in every bite. Michele Parente, sandiegouniontribune.com, "3 new restaurants to try in San Diego right now: Monzù, j/wata, An's Dry Cleaning," 5 July 2018 But once that is done, researchers hope spherical tokamaks, or some other variation, will provide a route to commercial reactors that are smaller, simpler, and cheaper than ITER. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Knighthood in hand, astrophysicist prepares to lead U.S. fusion lab," 19 June 2018

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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Statistics for spherical

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spherical

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

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More Definitions for spherical

spherical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of spherical

: having the shape of a sphere

spherical

adjective
spher·i·cal | \ˈsfir-i-kəl, ˈsfer-\

Kids Definition of spherical

: relating to or having the form of a sphere

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Comments on spherical

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to reject or criticize sharply

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