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sphere (n.)

15世纪中叶,中英文 spere (14世纪)的拉丁化拼法"宇宙;空间,被设想为一个关于世界的空心球体",来自英法 espiere ,古法语 espere (13世纪,现代法语 sphère ),来自拉丁文 sphaera "地球、球、天球"(中世纪拉丁文 spera ),来自希腊文 sphaira "地球、球、玩球、地球仪",词源不明。

来自14世纪末,指宇宙中任何一个所谓的同心、透明、中空、结晶的球体,相信它们围绕地球旋转,并包含行星和固定的恒星;它们相互摩擦发出的所谓和谐的声音是 music of the spheres (14世纪末)。又从14世纪末作"地球仪;球形的物体,球",几何学意义上的"所有点都与中心等距离的实体图形"。意为"某物、地点或活动场景的范围",最早记载于17世纪(如 sphere of influence ,1885年,原指英德在非洲的殖民争夺)。

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Definitions of sphere from WordNet

sphere (n.)
a particular environment or walk of life;
his social sphere is limited
Synonyms: domain / area / orbit / field / arena
sphere (n.)
any spherically shaped artifact;
sphere (n.)
the geographical area in which one nation is very influential;
Synonyms: sphere of influence
sphere (n.)
a particular aspect of life or activity;
Synonyms: sector
sphere (n.)
a solid figure bounded by a spherical surface (including the space it encloses);
sphere (n.)
a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from the center;
sphere (n.)
the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected;
Synonyms: celestial sphere / empyrean / firmament / heavens / vault of heaven / welkin
From wordnet.princeton.edu