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

  • n. A body that is shaped like a sphere but is not perfectly round, especially an ellipsoid that is generated by revolving an ellipse around one of its axes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A solid of revolution generated by rotating an ellipse about its major (prolate), or minor (oblate) axis.
  • adj. Of a shape similar to a squashed sphere.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A body or figure approaching to a sphere, but not perfectly spherical; esp., a solid generated by the revolution of an ellipse about one of its axes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A geometrical body approaching to a sphere, but not perfectly spherical.
  • n. In geometry, a solid generated by the revolution of an ellipse about one of its axes.
  • n. In anthropology, a cranium of nearly spherical form.

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

  • n. a shape that is generated by rotating an ellipse around one of its axes


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • 'The effect of graviational radiation on the secular stability of the Maclaurin spheroid', Astrophys.

    Subramanyan Chandrasekhar - Autobiography

  • The labours of Fernel and above all of Picard, upon the measure of a terrestrial degree between Paris and Amiens, had made it clear that the globe is not a sphere, but a spheroid, that is to say, a ball flattened at the poles and swollen at the equator, and thus were found at one stroke the form and the dimensions of the world which we inhabit.

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part I. The Exploration of the World

  • At the flat end of the spheroid was a small ring of a pink colour, from which ran lines forming the ribs, which supported the sides of the animal.

    Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, Volume 2

  • Page 548, Volume 1 weaker than at the less distant poles, and Huygens 'pendulum clock should beat time more slowly at lower latitudes than at higher latitudes on this oblate spheroid which is our earth.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • "You'll see the Earth is curved but it won't be, 'We live on this oblate spheroid!'"

    Found in Space

  • Part of the play's appeal today is nostalgic: it evokes an era when football reporters talked of "agitating the spheroid to the sticks" and when a star centre-forward, bent on self-improvement, could say "there's things in Browning I can't figure out and Walter Pater has me beat to atoms."

    The Game

  • Then idly he rolled a dimpled spheroid around the palm of his hand.

    365 tomorrows » Have a good look, Mr. G. : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • Therefore, we—as the children of monkeys who fetishized symmetry and evenness—inherited a desire to live in a perfectly round world instead of a flat-topped oblate spheroid; to want planets that traveled in perfectly round orbits instead of weird egg-shaped ellipses and an Earth that looked like an inkblot with the equator as the fold.

    X, Chapter 3: Morowitz

  • She's also not great looking-her skin's a little sallow and either through genetics or lack of maintanence she's cursed with an enormous frizzy Jew fro, which she always wears bobbling back and forth in a gigantic spheroid on top of her head.

    Josephine Skinny Jeans: Chapter 1

  • Although there is a small chance (measured as the length of time a roughly-packed spheroid of frozen dihydro-monoxide would survive in Hades) of some shred of one of these plans surviving in the House/Senate conference on the healthcare reform bill, I'm not exactly holding my breath.

    Chris Weigant: My 2009 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.