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


global, globular, round



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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

Also new to South Dakota is a new, cheaper Large Aperture Bow sonar array in place of a traditional spherical sonar array. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Come Take a Tour of America's Newest Nuclear Submarine," 7 Jan. 2019 The idea of a flat Earth is a good place to start with this, given that the evidence for its spherical nature goes back to long before the existence of science as an organized activity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why does flat Earth belief still exist?," 28 Dec. 2018 If this is the case, these types of mines were not used by the American Navy during that period, Ryan said, as American mines were more spherical. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Mystery mine: U.S. Navy says origin of device exploded in Puget Sound still unknown," 31 Aug. 2018 Globular clusters are large, compact, spherical collections of stars orbiting the Milky Way. Nola Taylor Redd, Space.com, "Omega Centauri Is a Terrible Place to Look for Habitable Planets," 15 Aug. 2018 Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge The $129 Echo Spot embodies Alexa in its spherical build, giving it the same skills as any Echo speaker. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How to pick the smart display that’s right for you," 27 July 2018 Astronaut uniforms followed fanny packs, sheer anoraks, sheath dresses with colorful Latin flounces and a spherical clutch bag that looked like a bomb. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Starry Saint Laurent show in Paris sees models walk on water," 25 Sep. 2018 Images of the spherical TCV are now making the rounds on Twitter, with local news helicopters even tracking it as its hauled north to Rodman’s Neck, a peninsula in the Bronx where police destroy unexploded bombs. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "How police use a ‘total containment vessel’ to haul away explosive devices," 24 Oct. 2018 Scientists already had little doubt that there was, at one point, liquid water on Mars, thanks to tiny spherical deposits discovered by the Opportunity rover in 2004 and the comprehensive mineralogy studies conducted by the Curiosity rover. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Underground Lake of Liquid Water Detected on Mars," 25 July 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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Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for spherical

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

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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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