Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having the shape of a sphere; globular.
  • adj. Having a shape approximating that of a sphere.
  • adj. Of or relating to a sphere.
  • adj. Of or relating to celestial bodies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. shaped like a sphere
  • adj. (no comparative or superlative) of, or pertaining to, spheres
  • adj. Of or relating to the heavenly orbs, or to the sphere or spheres in which, according to ancient astronomy and astrology, they were set.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the form of a sphere; like a sphere; globular; orbicular.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to a sphere.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the heavenly orbs, or to the sphere or spheres in which, according to ancient astronomy and astrology, they were set.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bounded by or having the form of the surface of a sphere: as, a spherical body; a spherical surface; a spherical shell.
  • Pertaining or relating to a sphere or spheres, or to sphericity: as, a spherical segment or section; spherical trigonometry.
  • Relating to the planets; planetary, in the astrological sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to spheres or resembling a sphere
  • adj. having the shape of a sphere or ball

Etymologies

From Latin sphericus, from Ancient Greek σφαιρικός +‎ -al (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If the planets seem to be spherical, is the universe spherical as well?

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  • The Sony Librie is a stunning e-ink ebook reading device with the most print-like book reading experience you can have at this time (the display moves microscopic black and white particles held within spherical microcapsules).

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  • These closed objects are commonly called spherical harmonics, although they are only remotely related to the mathematical definition found in the solution to certain wave functions, most notably the eigenfunctions of angular momentum operators.

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  • In science terminology, this is called a spherical aberration.

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  • Here's where I fit in: Scientists and engineers have used one type of gravity model for the past 100 years -- it's called spherical harmonics and is a bit dense to describe here just look at the equation.

    Next Generation

  • After Hubble's launch and deployment aboard the shuttle in 1990, scientists realized the telescope's primary mirror had a flaw, known as a spherical aberration.

    The 'Camera That Saved Hubble' Goes to Smithsonian Museum | Universe Today

  • This has to do with motions not progressive, but spherical, that is, with the expansion of bodies into a greater sphere or their contraction into a less.

    The New Organon

  • To say that it is a fact that the moon is spherical is just to say that the object, the moon, instantiates the property of being spherical, which is just to say that the moon is spherical.

    Realism

  • The geometry of elliptic spaces—called spherical geometry—was well known even in antiquity.

    Euclid’s Window

  • Aberration (in Optics) —In the refraction of light by a convex lens the rays passing through different parts of the lens are brought to a focus at slightly different distances, —this is called spherical aberration; at the same time the coloured rays are separated by the prismatic action of the lens and likewise brought to a focus at different distances, this is chromatic aberration.

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