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

However, after Mikimoto Kokichi invented the perfectly spherical cultured pearl in 1893, the market for real pearls eventually waned and then more or less crashed with the stock market in 1929. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Spends a Week in Qatar and Is Dazzled by Doha," 2 Apr. 2019 This ultra-modern tower blends ancient concepts (like spherical pearls) with 21st-century technology, once again combining the old and the new. Adrienne Faurote, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Shanghai, China," 5 Apr. 2019 Dead center, in the lower third of the oval, anchoring the whole scene, is a robust, spherical, tawny object. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "A Scene Beyond Time," 24 Aug. 2018 There is no possibility for tuning spherical nanoparticles, which brings you back to the lack of blue light. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "How gold nanoparticles may make killing tumors easier," 17 Jan. 2018 The appeal of spherical tires is pretty clear, then. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Goodyear Made Spherical MagLev Tires That Are Totally Nuts," 3 Mar. 2016 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

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

1 May 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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