Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of sphere
Meaning of sphere by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms

    • sphære ( archaic )
    • sphear ( archaic )


    From Old French sphere, from Late Latin sphēra, earlier Latin sphaera ( “ball, globe, celestial sphere” ), from Ancient Greek σφαῖρα ( “ball, globe” ), of unknown origin .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /sfɪə/, X-SAMPA: /sfI@/
    • ( US ) enPR: sfîr, IPA: /sfɪr/, X-SAMPA: /sfIr/
    • Rhymes: -ɪə( r )


    sphere ( plural: spheres )

    1. ( mathematics ) A regular three-dimensional object in which every cross-section is a circle; the figure described by the revolution of a circle about its diameter [from 14th c.] .
    2. A spherical physical object; a globe or ball. [from 14th c.]
    3. ( astronomy, now rare ) The apparent outer limit of space; the edge of the heavens, imagined as a hollow globe within which celestial bodies appear to be embedded. [from 14th c.]
    4. ( historical, astronomy, mythology ) Any of the concentric hollow transparent globes formerly believed to rotate around the Earth, and which carried the heavenly bodies; there were originally believed to be eight, and later nine and ten; friction between them was thought to cause a harmonious sound ( the music of the spheres ). [from 14th c.]
    5. ( mythology ) An area of activity for a planet; or by extension, an area of influence for a god, hero etc. [from 14th c.]
    6. ( figuratively ) The region in which something or someone is active; one's province, domain. [from 17th c.]
    7. ( geometry ) The set of all points in three-dimensional Euclidean space ( or n.-dimensional space, in topology ) that are a fixed distance from a fixed point [from 20th c.] .


    Derived terms

    See also


    sphere ( third-person singular simple present spheres present participle sphering, simple past and past participle sphered )

    1. ( transitive ) To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to ensphere.
    2. ( transitive ) To make round or spherical; to perfect .
      ( Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry? )



    By Wiktionary ( 2012/07/24 00:15 UTC Version )



    1. ( mathematics ) Used to form nouns indicating a sphere of x dimensions
    2. Designating some layer of the Earth .

    Derived terms

Explanation of sphere by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. any spherically shaped artifact

    2. a particular aspect of life or activity

    3. the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected

    4. the geographical area in which one nation is very influential

    5. a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from the center

    6. a solid figure bounded by a spherical surface ( including the space it encloses )

    7. a particular environment or walk of life

    8. his social sphere is limited

    Definition of sphere by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Sphere n. [OE. spere, OF. espere, F. sphère, L. sphaera,. Gr. a sphere, a ball.]
      1. ( Geom. ) A body or space contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point within called its center.

      2. Hence, any globe or globular body, especially a celestial one, as the sun, a planet, or the earth.

      Of celestial bodies, first the sun,

      A mighty sphere, he framed. Milton.

      3. ( Astron. ) The apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles, as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic, etc., are conceived to be drawn; an ideal geometrical sphere, with the astronomical and geographical circles in their proper positions on it. In ancient astronomy, one of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which the stars, sun, planets, and moon were supposed to be set, and by which they were carried, in such a manner as to produce their apparent motions.

      4. ( Logic ) The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied.

      5. Circuit or range of action, knowledge, or influence; compass; province; employment; place of existence.

      To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in 't. Shak.

      Taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself. Hawthorne.

      Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe

      Our hermit spirits dwell. Keble.

      6. Rank; order of society; social positions.

      7. An orbit, as of a star; a socket. [R.] Shak.

      Armillary sphere, Crystalline sphere, Oblique sphere,. See under Armillary, Crystalline,. -- Doctrine of the sphere, applications of the principles of spherical trigonometry to the properties and relations of the circles of the sphere, and the problems connected with them, in astronomy and geography, as to the latitudes and longitudes, distance and bearing, of places on the earth, and the right ascension and declination, altitude and azimuth, rising and setting, etc., of the heavenly bodies; spherical geometry. -- Music of the spheres. See under Music.

      Syn. -- Globe; orb; circle. See Globe.

    2. Sphere v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sphered ; p. pr. & vb. n. Sphering.]
      1. To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to insphere.

      The glorious planet Sol

      In noble eminence enthroned and sphered

      Amidst the other. Shak.

      2. To form into roundness; to make spherical, or spheral; to perfect. Tennyson.