• synonyms


[plan-uh-sfeer, pley-nuh-]
  1. a map of half or more of the celestial sphere with a device for indicating the part of a given location visible at a given time.
  2. a projection or representation of the whole or a part of a sphere on a plane.
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Origin of planisphere

1350–1400; plani- + sphere; replacing Middle English planisperie < Medieval Latin plānisphaerium
Related formsplan·i·spher·i·cal [plan-uh-sfer-i-kuh l, -sfeer-, pley-nuh-] /ˌplæn əˈsfɛr ɪ kəl, -ˈsfɪər-, ˌpleɪ nə-/, plan·i·spher·ic, plan·i·spher·al [plan-i-sfeer-uh l, pley-nuh-] /ˌplæn ɪˈsfɪər əl, ˌpleɪ nə-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for planisphere

Historical Examples

  • Planisphere from Nineveh, and a table of lunar longitudes, 116-7.

    Assyria, Its Princes, Priests and People

    A. H. (Archibald Henry) Sayce

  • It appears on the planisphere of Bartschius, published in 1624.

  • That sounds mysterious, but it is easy if you have a planisphere like ours.

  • A planisphere that will show the planets costs about five dollars.

  • If I had only a dollar or less to spend on astronomy I should buy a planisphere.

British Dictionary definitions for planisphere


  1. a projection or representation of all or part of a sphere on a plane surface, such as a polar projection of the celestial sphere onto a chart
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Derived Formsplanispheric (ˌplænɪˈsfɛrɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin plānisphaerium, from Latin plānus flat + Greek sphaira globe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for planisphere


late 14c., from Medieval Latin planisphaerium, from Latin planus (see plane (n.1)) + sphaera (see sphere (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper