sphere

[ sfeer ]
/ sfɪər /

noun

verb (used with object), sphered, spher·ing.

Origin of sphere

1250–1300; < Late Latin sphēra, Latin sphaera globe < Greek sphaîra ball; replacing Middle English spere < Old French spere < Late Latin spēra, variant of sphēra
Related formssphere·less, adjectivesphere·like, adjectivesub·sphere, nounun·spher·ing, adjective

Definition for sphere (2 of 2)

-sphere


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).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sphere

British Dictionary definitions for sphere (1 of 2)

sphere

/ (sfɪə) /

noun

verb (tr) mainly poetic

to surround or encircle
to place aloft or in the heavens

Word Origin for sphere

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

British Dictionary definitions for sphere (2 of 2)

-sphere


n combining form

having the shape or form of a spherebathysphere
indicating a spherelike enveloping massatmosphere
Derived Forms-spheric, adj combining form
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 sphere

sphere


n.

1530s, restored spelling of Middle English spere (c.1300) "space, conceived as a hollow globe about the world," from Old French espere (13c.), from Latin sphaera "globe, ball, celestial sphere," from Greek sphaira "globe, ball," of unknown origin.

Sense of "ball, body of globular form" is from late 14c. Medieval astronomical meaning "one of the 8 (later 10) concentric, transparent, hollow globes believed to revolve around the earth and carry the heavenly bodies" is from late 14c.; the supposed harmonious sound they made rubbing against one another was the music of the spheres (late 14c.). Meaning "range of something" is first recorded c.1600 (e.g. sphere of influence, 1885, originally in reference to Anglo-German colonial rivalry in Africa). A spherical number (1640s) is one whose powers always terminate in the same digit as the number itself (5,6, and 10 are the only ones).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sphere

sphere

[ sfîr ]

n.

A ball-shaped or a globular body.
Related formsspheral (sfîrəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for sphere

sphere

[ sfîr ]

A three-dimensional geometric surface having all of its points the same distance from a given point.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.