A ball is spherical; it’s shaped like a sphere — a three-dimensional version of the two-dimensional circle.

The ball image is a good one since the word sphere comes from very similar-sounding Greek and Latin words, both of which mean “ball.” The word sphere, however, has much broader usage: we use it in to discussing astronomy, our earth, even our social rank (as in “one’s sphere of influence”). Spherical, by contrast, has a much more limited use. It basically is a description of shape: if it’s spherical, it simply looks like a ball.

Definitions of spherical
  1. adjective

    of or relating to spheres or resembling a sphere

    spherical geometry”
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    not spherical

  2. adjective

    having the shape of a sphere or ball

    spherical object”
    ball-shaped, global, globose, globular, orbicular, spheric

    circular, round

    having a circular shape

Word Family