One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Shaped like a sphere.‘spherical pearls’
round, globular, ball-shaped, globe-shaped, orb-shaped, orb-like, bulbous, bulb-shaped, balloon-likeView synonyms
- ‘She could see the round, spherical canvasses stretched across the metal, almost grotesquely.’
- ‘An oblong Earth that swells out at the equator would turn more slowly than a spherical Earth - astronomers use the analogy of a figure skater who turns faster as he draws in his arms.’
- ‘At the stove, someone is lifting pancakes from the skillet, placing them in the warmer, and pouring in fresh batter which distributes itself into spherical shapes.’
- ‘Trees with this form have several to many lateral branches that compete with the central stem for dominance resulting in a spherical or globose crown.’
- ‘The pills are perfectly spherical, opaque, and shiny, like tiny pearls.’
- ‘At 85 km, the self-stabilizing spherical capsule separates.’
- ‘Through the gentle curves of its spherical design, the stadium merges with its surroundings.’
- ‘A fish heart is almost spherical just as a whale's (a mammal) is.’
- ‘I get dressed in my armor, and then I touch the spherical shaped switch that will bring the lift up to my room.’
- ‘I had that experience in the early 80s, when I spent five days racing around a maze eating spherical doughnuts, and waiting for my ghostly pursuers to turn blue.’
- ‘All five were hollow, spherical objects (balls).’
- ‘It was round and spherical, with a deep groove on one side.’
- ‘A tiny somewhat spherical shaped object appeared off in the distance, moving quickly and effortlessly to the side of the craft.’
- ‘The container looked much like a scientific chemical bottle, with a rounded, spherical bottom and an elongated neck.’
- ‘He proved that the earth was spherical and speculated about sailing around the world 17 centuries before Columbus.’
- ‘Most of the major varieties are illustrated as well as some of their companions - the infamous bubble dome stereos, spherical speakers and round, hanging televisions.’
- ‘The elliptical shape can curve, but a round spherical shape can not.’
- ‘The US system consists of a small box that digitally scans fingerprints and a spherical computer camera that snaps pictures.’
- ‘The huge, perfectly spherical structure sat like a giant black pearl in the middle of the city.’
- ‘What adds a certain urgency to his message is that he himself has suffered a heart attack, even though he does not conform to the generously fat-reinforced spherical figures that he has been talking about.’
- 1.1 Relating to the properties of spheres.
- ‘The design of contact lenses can be divided into spherical, toric and multifocal.’
- ‘They had the typical appearance of spherical or elliptical aggregates of altered erythrocytes surrounded by an envelope.’
- ‘Typically, a neutron star will have the mass of one and a half suns compressed into a spherical volume just 10-15 km in diameter.’
- ‘The small incision induces minimal postoperative astigmatism (change in the spherical curvature of the cornea).’
- ‘It is a mathematical truism that a spherical surface cannot be developed into a plane.’
- 1.2 Formed inside or on the surface of a sphere.
- ‘They then wrote software to design circuits on spherical surfaces without distorting the physics of electrons that whiz through wires thinner than a human hair.’
- ‘‘Now that's what they normally look like,’ she explains, pointing to clusters of cells - spherical structures, hollow on the inside.’
- ‘Axonometric distortion creates the illusion that these rows occur upon spherical surfaces: they appear to overlay a field of bulging convexities and receding concavities.’
- ‘Kepler showed that the distances of the planets can be correlated with the radii of spherical shells, which are inscribed within, and circumscribed around, a nest of the five regular solids.’
- ‘This exotic matter forms a thin spherical shell and has negative mass and positive surface pressure.’
- ‘For example, he held that fire rises in order to reach its natural place, a spherical shell just inside the orbit of the moon.’
Late 15th century: via late Latin from Greek sphairikos, from sphaira (see sphere).
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