Marbles, oranges, bubbles, and beach balls — all of these objects illustrate the shape of a sphere, or globe (unless the beach balls are under-inflated, in which case they’re sort-of a “squished-sphere” shape).

Sphere is often used metaphorically to refer to a particular aspect or area of something. For example, unless you’re a trained circus performer, tightrope walking and fire swallowing probably lie outside of your sphere of expertise. Sphere frequently occurs in the phrase “sphere of influence,” which designates the geographical area over which a person, organization, or nation has control. In many households, whoever is in charge of the cooking controls the kitchen; so, the kitchen falls within his or her sphere of influence.

Definitions of sphere

n a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from the center

Type of:
round shape
a shape that is curved and without sharp angles

n any spherically shaped artifact

a sphere on which a map (especially of the earth) is represented
celestial globe
a globe that is a spherical model of the heavens
Type of:
artefact, artifact
a man-made object taken as a whole

n a solid figure bounded by a spherical surface (including the space it encloses)

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conglobation, conglomeration
a rounded spherical form
ball, globe, orb
an object with a spherical shape
bead, drop, pearl
a shape that is spherical and small
crystal ball
a glass or crystal globe used in crystal gazing by fortunetellers
camphor ball, mothball
a small sphere of camphor or naphthalene used to keep moths away from stored clothing
a ball that slides down a staff to show a fixed time; especially at an observatory
the luminous center of a nuclear explosion
a ball of fire (such as the sun or a ball-shaped discharge of lightning)
a small globe or ball
a small sphere
a small sphere
a small round soft mass (as of chewed food)
a drop of dew
anything shaped like a falling drop (as a pendant gem on an earring)
Type of:
round shape
a shape that is curved and without sharp angles

n the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected

celestial sphere, empyrean, firmament, heavens, vault of heaven, welkin
Type of:
the extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object

n a particular aspect of life or activity

a specialized sphere of knowledge
Type of:
aspect, facet
a distinct feature or element in a problem

n a particular environment or walk of life

“his social sphere is limited”
area, arena, domain, field, orbit
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the sphere of work by women
a sphere of activity involving effort
kingdom, land, realm
a domain in which something is dominant
an area of control or responsibility
political arena, political sphere
a sphere of intense political activity
a domain that seems to be specially reserved for someone
province, responsibility
the proper sphere or extent of your activities
lotus land, lotusland
an idyllic realm of contentment and self-indulgence
lap of the gods
beyond human control or responsibility
ecclesiastical province
the district within the jurisdiction of an archbishop or a metropolitan or one of the territorial divisions of an ecclesiastical order
Type of:
the totality of surrounding conditions

n the geographical area in which one nation is very influential

sphere of influence
Type of:
geographic area, geographic region, geographical area, geographical region
a demarcated area of the Earth

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