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- Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)
- (transitive) To place in a sphere; to surround in all directions (as if) by a sphere (one of the concentric hollow transparent globes formerly believed to rotate around the Earth).
- c. 1624, George Chapman (translator), “Hymn to Hermes” by Homer in The Hymns of Homer; The Batrachomyomachia; and Two Original Poetical Hymns, Chistnick: C. Whittingham, 1818, p. 64,
- His ample shoulders in a cloud enspher’d
- Of fiery crimson.
- 1634, John Milton, Comus, London: Humphrey Robinson, 1637, p. 1,
- Before the starrie threshold of Ioves Court
- My mansion is, where those immortall shapes
- Of bright aëreall Spirits live insphear’d
- In Regions mild of calme and serene aire,
- 1640 (first publication), Thomas Carew, “Obsequies to the Lady Anne Hay”, in Poems, with a Maske, […], 3rd edition, London: […] H[umphrey] M[oseley] and are to be sold by J[ohn] Martin, […], published 1651, →OCLC, page 91:
- Virgins of equall birth, [...] / Shall draw thy picture, and record thy life; / One ſhall enſphere thine eyes, another ſhall / Impearl thy teeth[,] a third thy white and ſmall / Hand ſhall beſnow, a fourth incarnadine / Thy roſie cheek, [...]
- 1990, A. S. Byatt, chapter 3, in Possession, New York: Random House, page 31:
- It was afternoon […] which meant that all the ample, high, soft-blue leather desks along the spokes of the great wheel that radiated from the Superintendent’s desk, ensphered by the Catalogue, were taken, and he had to be content with one of the minimal flat triangular ends of the late-come segments inserted between the spokes.
- (transitive) To form into a sphere.
- 1651, Thomas Carew, “Obsequies to the Lady Anne Hay”, in Poems, with a Maske, London: H.M, page 91:
- Virgins of equall birth, of equall years,
Whose vertues held with thine an emulous strife,
Shall draw thy picture, and record thy life;
One shall ensphere thine eyes, another shall
Impearl thy teeth; a third thy white and small
Hand shall besnow, a fourth, incarnadine
Thy rosie cheek,
- 1938, T. F. Higham (translator), Song 142 (“The Moon”) by Sappho, in The Oxford Book of Greek Verse in Translation, Oxford University Press, p. 140,
- Bright stars, around the fair Selênê peering,
- No more their beauty to the night discover
- When she, at full, her silver light ensphering,
- Floods the world over.