[sfeer-iks, sfer-]
  1. (used with a singular verb) electronic equipment for determining the position of storms by locating their accompanying atmospherics.
  2. (used with a plural verb) the atmospheric discharges located by this device.
  3. Also spherics. (used with a singular verb) the study of atmospherics.
  4. spherics2(def 1).

Origin of sferics

First recorded in 1940–45; shortening and respelling of atmospherics
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sferics


  1. the usual US spelling of spherics 2
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

sferics in Science


  1. The study of atmospherics, especially through the use of electronic detectors.


  1. A radio emission from a stroke of lightning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.