Armillary sphere
Sphere Sphere, n. [OE. spere, OF. espere, F. sph[`e]re, L. sphaera,. Gr. ??? a sphere, a ball.] 1. (Geom.) A body or space contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point within called its center. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, any globe or globular body, especially a celestial one, as the sun, a planet, or the earth. [1913 Webster]

Of celestial bodies, first the sun, A mighty sphere, he framed. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. (Astron.) (a) The apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles, as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic, etc., are conceived to be drawn; an ideal geometrical sphere, with the astronomical and geographical circles in their proper positions on it. (b) In ancient astronomy, one of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which the stars, sun, planets, and moon were supposed to be set, and by which they were carried, in such a manner as to produce their apparent motions. [1913 Webster]

4. (Logic) The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied. [1913 Webster]

5. Circuit or range of action, knowledge, or influence; compass; province; employment; place of existence. [1913 Webster]

To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in 't. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]

Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe Our hermit spirits dwell. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

6. Rank; order of society; social positions. [1913 Webster]

7. An orbit, as of a star; a socket. [R.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Armillary sphere}, {Crystalline sphere}, {Oblique sphere},. See under {Armillary}, {Crystalline},.

{Doctrine of the sphere}, applications of the principles of spherical trigonometry to the properties and relations of the circles of the sphere, and the problems connected with them, in astronomy and geography, as to the latitudes and longitudes, distance and bearing, of places on the earth, and the right ascension and declination, altitude and azimuth, rising and setting, etc., of the heavenly bodies; spherical geometry.

{Music of the spheres}. See under {Music}. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Globe; orb; circle. See {Globe}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Armillary sphere — Armillary Ar mil*la*ry, a. [LL. armillarius, fr. L. armilla arm ring, bracelet, fr. armus arm: cf. F. armillaire. See {Arm}, n.] Pertaining to, or resembling, a bracelet or ring; consisting of rings or circles. [1913 Webster] {Armillary sphere},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • armillary sphere — [är′mə ler΄ē] n. [< L armilla, armlet, bracelet < armus: see ARM2] an ancient astronomical sighting instrument representing the great circles of the horizon, the ecliptic, the meridian, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Armillary sphere — An armillary sphere (variations are known as spherical astrolabe, armilla, or armil) is a model of the celestial sphere. Description and use of the armillary sphere The exterior parts of this machine are a compages of brass rings, which represent …   Wikipedia

  • armillary sphere — Astron. an ancient instrument consisting of an arrangement of rings, all of which are circles of the same sphere, used to show the relative positions of the celestial equator, ecliptic, and other circles on the celestial sphere. [1550 60] * * * ▪ …   Universalium

  • armillary sphere — noun Etymology: French sphère armillaire, from Medieval Latin armilla, from Latin, bracelet, iron ring, from armus shoulder more at arm Date: 1664 an old astronomical instrument composed of rings showing the positions of important circles of the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • armillary sphere — ar′millary sphere′ n. astron. an ancient astronomical instrument consisting of an arrangement of metal rings used to show the relative positions of the celestial equator and other circles on the celestial sphere …   From formal English to slang

  • armillary sphere — /aˌmɪləri ˈsfɪə/ (say ah.miluhree sfear) noun Astronomy an arrangement of rings, all circles of a single sphere, showing the relative positions of the principal circles of the celestial sphere …   Australian English dictionary

  • armillary sphere — noun a revolving model of the celestial sphere constructed from metal rings representing the equator, the tropics, etc. Origin C17: from mod. L. armillaris relating to an armilla , a similar astronomical instrument used by ancient astronomers,… …   English new terms dictionary

  • armillary sphere — noun An instrument consisting of graduated metal circles used to represent the motions of celestial bodies around the earth …   Wiktionary

  • armillary sphere — noun a celestial globe consisting of metal hoops; used by early astronomers to determine the positions of stars • Syn: ↑armilla • Hypernyms: ↑celestial globe …   Useful english dictionary

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