- 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: x2 + y2 + z2 = r2.
- the surface of such a figure; a spherical surface.
- any rounded body approximately of this form; a globular mass, shell, etc.
- 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.
- a particular social world, stratum of society, or walk of life: His social sphere is small.
- a field of something specified: a sphere of knowledge.
- to enclose in or as if in a sphere.
- to form into a sphere.
- to place among the heavenly spheres.
Origin of sphere
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sphere on Thesaurus.com
- 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).
Examples from the Web for sphere
This may be precisely the point: that fiction at its best is a sphere of suspended belief as much as suspended disbelief.The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
In almost every sphere of life, the trend is to trade in ownership for access.How Young People Are Destroying Liberty
October 11, 2014
At that point, a sphere lit up, resembling the landing of the UFO in E.T., and the overheard lights descended on the stage.I'm Not Country or Pop. I'm Just Pure Garth Brooks.
September 10, 2014
And while I may have put a bunch of stunt guys in peril on Titanic, it was my ass in the sphere on the dive.James Cameron Dives into the Ocean's Abyss
July 21, 2014
Business decisions sometimes operate in a sphere almost devoid of morality.Video Games Need More Than Damsels and Dames
June 18, 2014
There was nothing in her behaviour to indicate a consciousness of error from her sphere.Weighed and Wanting
And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more.De Profundis
I've been living very economically for the sphere that seemed open to me.The Bacillus of Beauty
Moreover, it did not take him out of his own sphere—the sphere which is watched by the police.The Secret Agent
Alice herself was to be removed from the sphere of her humble calling.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from a given point, the centre
- 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
- any object having approximately this shape; globe
- the night sky considered as a vaulted roof; firmament
- any heavenly object such as a planet, natural satellite, or star
- (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)
- particular field of activity; environmentthat's out of my sphere
- a social class or stratum of society
- to surround or encircle
- to place aloft or in the heavens
- having the shape or form of a spherebathysphere
- indicating a spherelike enveloping massatmosphere
Word Origin and History for sphere
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).
- A ball-shaped or a globular body.
- A three-dimensional geometric surface having all of its points the same distance from a given point.