Meaning of SPHERE in English


I. ˈsfi(ə)r, -iə, chiefly South sometimes ˈspi- noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English spere, from Middle French espere, from Latin sphaera, from Greek sphaira ball, sphere; perhaps akin to Greek spairein to quiver — more at spurn



(1) : the apparent surface of the heavens of which half forms the dome of the visible sky, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere infinitely distant from the earth, on which the celestial bodies seem to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles (as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic) are conceived to be drawn : an ideal globe with the astronomical circles in their proper positions on it

(2) : one of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which according to ancient astronomy stars, sun, planets, and moon are set and by which they are carried in such manner as to produce their apparent motions — compare music of the spheres

b. : a globe depicting such a sphere ; broadly : globe 1a


a. : a globular body : one whose major circumferences approximate to circles : ball

ruddy spheres burdening the apple boughs


(1) : a celestial body : planet , star

(2) : a rounded differentiated structure (as a centrosome or idiosome) in protoplasm


(1) : a body or space bounded by one surface all points of which are equally distant from a point within that constitutes its center — see volume table

(2) : the bounding surface of such a body or space


a. : one of the concentric layers anciently believed to be formed by each of the elements earth, water, air, and fire

b. : natural, normal, or proper place

fish in their underwater sphere

c. : an order of society : social position or class

d. : a happier or heavenly region

a future sphere , where the injustices of life shall be rectified — W.E.H.Lecky


a. obsolete : a course or path encompassing a center : the orbit of a heavenly body : circuit


(1) : the area over which something acts, exerts influence, has its being or significance, or radiates : a domain or range of something (as action, knowledge, or influence) : field of action or existence : compass , province

within her narrow sphere of action

in the sphere of mundane affairs

the case falls into the sphere of this act

— compare circle 5b

(2) : denotation 4

Synonyms: see field

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to place in or as if in a sphere or among the spheres : raise aloft : ensphere


a. : to form into a sphere : make round or spherical

b. : to make complete : perfect

3. : to enclose in or as if in a sphere : surround

4. archaic : to send in a circuit : cause to turn in all directions : circulate

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.