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[hem-i-sfeer] /ˈhɛm ɪˌsfɪər/
(often initial capital letter) half of the terrestrial globe or celestial sphere, especially one of the halves into which the earth is divided.
a map or projection representing one of these halves.
a half of a sphere.
Anatomy. either of the lateral halves of the cerebrum or cerebellum.
the area within which something occurs or dominates; sphere; realm.
1325-75; < Latin hēmisphaerium < Greek hēmisphaírion; replacing Middle English emysperie < Old French emispere < Latin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hemispheres
  • Also, it turns out that the brain compensates for aging by getting its hemispheres to work together.
  • The two hemispheres of the bird's brain take turns controlling the song, each dominating for a hundredth of a second.
  • It is almost as though the body has been carelessly glued together from two preformed hemispheres.
  • Two kinds of air collide, from the northern and southern hemispheres.
  • And these stars will be launched from a variety of hemispheres.
  • Being in opposite hemispheres, these two sites allow the whole sky to be observed.
  • Today, astronomers in both hemispheres scan the skies looking for rogue asteroids and comets.
  • Another suggestion is that there were two more or less coincident eruptions, one each in northern and southern hemispheres.
  • By me the hemispheres rounded and tied, the unknown to the known.
  • They opened to it the whole range of the two hemispheres.
British Dictionary definitions for hemispheres


one half of a sphere
  1. half of the terrestrial globe, divided into northern and southern hemispheres by the equator or into eastern and western hemispheres by some meridians, usually 0° and 180°
  2. a map or projection of one of the hemispheres
either of the two halves of the celestial sphere that lie north or south of the celestial equator
(anatomy) short for cerebral hemisphere
Derived Forms
hemispheric (ˌhɛmɪˈsfɛrɪk), hemispherical, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hemispheres



late 14c., hemysperie, in reference to the celestial sphere, from Latin hemisphaerium, from Greek hemisphairion, from hemi- "half" (see hemi-) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere). Spelling reformed 16c. Of the Earth, from 1550s; of the brain, 1804.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hemispheres in Medicine

hemisphere hem·i·sphere (hěm'ĭ-sfēr')

  1. A half of a symmetrical spherical structure as divided by a plane of symmetry.

  2. Either of the lateral halves of the cerebrum; a cerebral hemisphere.

hem'i·spher'ic (-sfēr'ĭk, -sfěr'-) or hem'i·spher'i·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hemispheres in Science
  1. One half of a sphere, formed by a plane that passes through the center of the sphere.

  2. Either the northern or southern half of the Earth as divided by the equator, or the eastern or western half as divided by a meridian, especially the prime meridian.

  3. One half of the celestial sphere as divided by any of various great circles, especially the celestial equator and the ecliptic. See more at celestial sphere.

  4. See cerebral hemisphere.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hemispheres in Culture

hemisphere definition

Any half of the Earth's surface.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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