(often initial capital letter) half of the terrestrial globe or celestial sphere, especially one of the halves into which the earth is divided. Compare Eastern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere.
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

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World English Dictionary
hemisphere (ˈhɛmɪˌsfɪə)
1.  one half of a sphere
2.  a.  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°
 b.  a map or projection of one of the hemispheres
3.  either of the two halves of the celestial sphere that lie north or south of the celestial equator
4.  anatomy short for cerebral hemisphere

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. hemisphærium, from Gk. hemisphairion, from hemi- "half" + sphaira "sphere."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hemisphere   (hěm'ĭ-sfîr')  Pronunciation Key 
  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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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