Definition of hemisphere in US English:



  • 1A half of a sphere.

    • ‘The sculpture consists of an elliptical loop of steel, attached to which are spheres and hemispheres fashioned from strips of steel.’
    • ‘On a wall was a 50-inch-square inked canvas called Moon that showed the pocked lunar face, which recalls in two dimensions the protruding hemispheres of the sculptures.’
    • ‘He described the boats as ‘basically overgrown baskets’ as we contemplated the stacks of green ash laths waiting to be soaked, bent and woven into tight little hemispheres.’
    • ‘There is no silence like the windblown silence found in the flat desert, at the center of a world divided between two perfect hemispheres of earth and sky.’
    • ‘The hemispheres then split as readily as carrot sliced lengthwise with a knife, and with as crisply delicious a sound.’
    • ‘The sun was a glowing hemisphere, its faint rays slanting across the sea.’
    • ‘When set, gently remove from molds and form eight spheres by gently pressing two hemispheres together at their centers and rolling between hands.’
    • ‘When the explosives go off, the hemispheres are pushed together into a sphere of critical mass.’
    • ‘A long plumb line, emerging from the bottom of the hemisphere, seems to suddenly drop, its tip a smaller, whirling cluster, reminiscent of the pooling and rippling of water.’
    • ‘The hand-sized hemisphere that occupies the heart of each sculpture is a symbolic evocation of these small, sacred vessels, and the holy river is referenced by the circular steel ring that supports the hemisphere.’
    • ‘They were constructed by welding together two hemispheres, with holes in each end for screwed fittings.’
    • ‘The cell body is actually a cylinder capped at both ends by hemispheres and the radius of the flagellum helix is smaller than that of the cell body.’
    • ‘The code was validated by comparing the computed forces and torques with the analytic solutions for a hemisphere and sphere in point contact with the wall and also computations for axisymmetric spherical caps and spheroids.’
    cupola, vault, rotunda, arched roof, arched ceiling
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    1. 1.1 A half of the earth, usually as divided into northern and southern halves by the equator, or into western and eastern halves by an imaginary line passing through the poles.
      • ‘But the mobile, malleable young Australians of today move back and forth between worlds I thought to be mutually exclusive, and they have more hemispheres than two to choose from.’
      • ‘It may signal the start of a prolonged conflict between the two hemispheres that, due to the restructuring of the marketplace caused by globalization, will not follow the accepted conventions of warfare.’
      • ‘You will get a taste of several climates as you sail from winter in the United Kingdom, across the tropics to summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and on to the southern edge of that hemisphere's temperate zone.’
      • ‘The direction follows the magnetic poles of the Earth between the Southern and Northern hemispheres.’
      • ‘The latitudinal studies involve seasonality near the equator and in each hemisphere.’
      • ‘In both the northern and southern hemispheres aridity occurs at latitudes characterized by more or less permanent high pressure cells and hot dry subsiding air.’
      • ‘In our hemisphere, areas of high barometric pressure, anticyclones, create winds which circulate anticlockwise.’
      • ‘These petty squabbles half a hemisphere away are not helping us at all.’
      • ‘They are found in the eastern and western hemispheres and nest on beaches throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.’
      • ‘Electronic mail already serves global corporations as a broadcast medium and a mechanism for one-on-one communication across hemispheres and time zones.’
      • ‘Giant sperm whales are migratory, following the summer from northern to southern hemispheres.’
      • ‘The high latitudes of the northern and the southern hemispheres are very different geographically.’
      • ‘The extension by one year of the mission will provide opportunities to extend the global coverage, compared to the original six-month mission, and to map both southern and northern hemispheres at high resolution.’
      • ‘In 1994 Burma and Cuba, rogue states in their respective hemispheres, started tourism campaigns to secure much-needed foreign exchange.’
      • ‘Leicester are now urging rugby union's governing bodies in the northern and southern hemispheres to agree to a date for such a fixture next term.’
      • ‘He says there is a clear southern-northern hemisphere divide.’
      • ‘As recently as October 2001, scientists gathered images of auroras occurring simultaneously in the northern and southern hemispheres, confirming that the auroral ovals mimic each other.’
      • ‘If you read the map like a loyalist, the axis that held the hemispheres together still ran from the Aldwych along the Strand and into the Mall - and as it happened, this was my first walk in London, after I left the bridge.’
      • ‘Countries in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres continue to treat the world's rivers, seas and oceans as dumping grounds.’
      • ‘For athletes from northern hemispheres, like Canada, this will prove to be a challenge due to the extreme climate change.’
      half, part
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    2. 1.2 A half of the celestial sphere.
      • ‘The fundamental difference between the out-going, waxing hemisphere aspects and the incoming, waning hemisphere aspects can readily be seen if we think of the cycle of the seasons or of the lunation cycle or the daily cycle.’
      • ‘Generally, though we look to find at least 7 planets in any one hemisphere in order to take it into account in an analysis.’
      • ‘It is pointed out that the State capital is ideally placed for sky-gazing, as it is close to the equator and the northern and southern hemispheres can be seen almost in their entirety.’
    3. 1.3 Each of the two parts of the cerebrum (left and right) in the brain of a vertebrate.
      • ‘Lesions in the cerebral hemispheres and brainstem included perivascular lymphocytes in leptomeninges and parenchyma, with scattered microglial nodules in gray and white matter.’
      • ‘The left brain hemisphere posterior speech areas showed much greater activation for forward than backward speech.’
      • ‘The brain includes the cerebral hemispheres, the cerebellum, and the brain stem.’
      • ‘Given that the dominant view is that the left hemisphere is the happening place for language and the right hemisphere is superior for music, we immediately hit the conundrum, what about singing with words?’
      • ‘One area is the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles, which are fluid-filled cavities in both brain hemispheres connected to the central canal of the spinal cord.’
      • ‘The brain had multiple hemorrhagic lesions within both cerebral hemispheres and the cerebellum.’
      • ‘They do both their thinking and acting with only the left brain hemisphere.’
      • ‘If a stroke occurs in the dominant hemisphere in the frontal area of the brain, the patient will lose the ability to produce language.’
      • ‘The vertebrobasilar arteries supply the brain stem, cerebellum, and occipital lobes; the cerebral hemispheres are supplied through the carotid arteries.’
      • ‘The human brain is divided in two hemispheres and, when the eye first lands on a word, the two parts of the word are initially projected to opposing sides of the brain.’
      • ‘There certainly are differences between the left and right brain hemispheres.’
      • ‘It has been known for many years that people with large lesions of the frontal lobes in both hemispheres have great difficulty inhibiting inappropriate behaviors.’
      • ‘However, since the Chinese language combines sound and shape, both hemispheres are used in speaking Chinese.’
      • ‘Within the hemisphere, three brain regions work together to control reading.’
      • ‘The right hemisphere embodies those artistic and intuitive qualities of holistic and integral design that are are familiar in all great design, art and craft.’
      • ‘And it's clear that this whole notion that the left hemisphere is the language hemisphere and the right hemisphere is a visual hemisphere cannot be applied to a rat, okay?’
      • ‘The two hemispheres of the vertebrate brain have also become specialised.’
      • ‘Their appearance could also be the result of tissue compression and developing injury in the contralateral hemisphere due to the expanding edema formation.’
      • ‘Our hemispheres always work together so that we will experience a combination of right and left hemisphere in everything we do.’
      • ‘Sensory axons extend from the skin of the big toe to the base of the brain; and motor axons run from the motor cortex of the cerebral hemispheres right down to motor neurons at the bottom of the spinal cord.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘half the celestial sphere, the sky’): from Old French emisphere, via Latin from Greek hēmisphairion, from hēmi- ‘half’ + sphaira ‘sphere’.