View synonyms for sphere



[ sfeer ]


  1. Geometry.
    1. a solid geometric figure generated by the revolution of a semicircle about its diameter; a round body whose surface is at all points equidistant from the center. Equation: x 2 + y 2 + z 2 = r 2 .
    2. the surface of such a figure; a spherical surface.
  2. any rounded body approximately of this form; a globular mass, shell, etc.
  3. Astronomy.
    1. a planet or star; heavenly body.
    2. any of the transparent, concentric, spherical shells, or layers, in which, according to ancient belief, the planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies were set.
  4. the place or environment within which a person or thing exists; a field of activity or operation:

    to be out of one's professional sphere.

    Synonyms: domain, realm, compass, province, area, orbit

  5. a particular social world, stratum of society, or walk of life:

    His social sphere is small.

    Synonyms: rank, class

  6. a field of something specified:

    a sphere of knowledge.

verb (used with object)

, sphered, spher·ing.
  1. to enclose in or as if in a sphere.
  2. to form into a sphere.
  3. to place among the heavenly spheres.


  1. a combining form of sphere ( planisphere ); having a special use in the names of the layers of gases and the like surrounding the earth and other celestial bodies ( ionosphere ).



combining form

  1. having the shape or form of a sphere


  2. indicating a spherelike enveloping mass




/ sfɪə /


  1. maths
    1. a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from a given point, the centre
    2. the solid figure bounded by this surface or the space enclosed by it. Equation: ( x–a )² + ( y–b )² + ( z–c )² = r ², where r is the radius and ( a, b, c ) are the coordinates of the centre; surface area: 4π r ²; volume: 4π r ³/3
  2. any object having approximately this shape; globe
  3. the night sky considered as a vaulted roof; firmament
  4. any heavenly object such as a planet, natural satellite, or star
  5. (in the Ptolemaic or Copernican systems of astronomy) one of a series of revolving hollow globes, arranged concentrically, on whose transparent surfaces the sun (or in the Copernican system the earth), the moon, the planets, and fixed stars were thought to be set, revolving around the earth (or in the Copernican system the sun)
  6. particular field of activity; environment

    that's out of my sphere

  7. a social class or stratum of society


  1. to surround or encircle
  2. to place aloft or in the heavens


/ sfîr /

  1. A three-dimensional geometric surface having all of its points the same distance from a given point.

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Derived Forms

  • -spheric, combining_form:in_adjective
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Other Words From

  • sphereless adjective
  • spherelike adjective
  • subsphere noun
  • un·sphering adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of sphere1

1250–1300; < Late Latin sphēra, Latin sphaera globe < Greek sphaîra ball; replacing Middle English spere < Old French spere < Late Latin spēra, variant of sphēra
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Word History and Origins

Origin of sphere1

C14: from Late Latin sphēra, from Latin sphaera globe, from Greek sphaira
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Example Sentences

The digital dating sphere can prove tricky, and bruising, for the trans user.

This may be precisely the point: that fiction at its best is a sphere of suspended belief as much as suspended disbelief.

In almost every sphere of life, the trend is to trade in ownership for access.

At that point, a sphere lit up, resembling the landing of the UFO in E.T., and the overheard lights descended on the stage.

Why tolerate toxicity in a powerful sphere of modern life that has the potential to—and does—benefit so many?

If ever the fusion of two human beings into one has been accomplished on this sphere it was surely in their union.

The belated moon stole up from its lair, hovered above the sky-line, a gaudy orange sphere in the haze of smoke.

But in 1811 he was recalled to Paris to receive orders before starting on a new sphere of duty.

Hence in the house, the sphere of the Genius is no longer the hearth but the marriage-bed (lectus genialis).

Second, geology, which takes account of all those actions which in process of time have been developed in our own sphere.


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