Definition for SPHERE

SPHERE, n. [Fr. from L. sphæra, Gr. σφαιρα, whence It. sfera, Sp. esfera, G. sphäre.]

  1. In geometry, a solid body contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point called its center. The earth is not an exact sphere. The sun appears to be a sphere.
  2. An orb or globe of the mundane system. First the sun, a mighty sphere, he fram'd. – Milton. Then mortal ears / Had heard the music of the spheres. – Dryden.
  3. An orbicular body, or a circular figure representing the earth or apparent heavens. – Dryden.
  4. Circuit of motion; revolution; orbit; as, the diurnal sphere. – Milton.
  5. The concave or vast orbicular expanse in which the heavenly orbs appear.
  6. Circuit of action, knowledge or influence; compass; province; employment. Every man has his particular sphere of action, in which it should be his ambition to excel. Events of this kind have repeatedly fallen within the sphere of my knowledge. This man treats of matters not within his sphere.
  7. Rank; order of society. Persons moving in a higher sphere claim more deference. Sphere of activity of a body, the whole space or extent reached by the effluvia emitted from it. – Encyc. A right sphere, that aspect of the heavens in which the circles of daily motion of the heavenly bodies, arc perpendicular to the horizon. A spectator at the equator views a right sphere. A parallel sphere, that in which the circles of daily motion are parallel to the horizon. A spectator at either of the poles, would view a parallel sphere. An oblique sphere, that in which the circles of daily motion are oblique to the horizon, as is the case to a spectator at any point between the equator and either pole. Armillary sphere, an artificial representation of the circles of the sphere, by means of brass rings.

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