Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


There was nothing in her behaviour to indicate a consciousness of error from her sphere.

And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more.

I've been living very economically for the sphere that seemed open to me.

Moreover, it did not take him out of his own sphere—the sphere which is watched by the police.

Alice herself was to be removed from the sphere of her humble calling.

Immediately both dived, and became as it were non-existent on this sphere.

The liberal party appears to be vanquished in the sphere of economics.

Hilary could see its red path as it struck the sphere of the machine.

At any rate, whatever the explanation, the sphere was emitting men!

You tell me we ought to enlarge our sphere of sensation, and to extend the sources of happiness.


1530s, restored spelling of Middle English spere (c.1300) "space, conceived as a hollow globe about the world," from Old French espere (13c.), from Latin sphaera "globe, ball, celestial sphere," from Greek sphaira "globe, ball," of unknown origin.

Sense of "ball, body of globular form" is from late 14c. Medieval astronomical meaning "one of the 8 (later 10) concentric, transparent, hollow globes believed to revolve around the earth and carry the heavenly bodies" is from late 14c.; the supposed harmonious sound they made rubbing against one another was the music of the spheres (late 14c.). Meaning "range of something" is first recorded c.1600 (e.g. sphere of influence, 1885, originally in reference to Anglo-German colonial rivalry in Africa). A spherical number (1640s) is one whose powers always terminate in the same digit as the number itself (5,6, and 10 are the only ones).



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.