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Alternative forms[edit]


en- +‎ sphere



ensphere (third-person singular simple present enspheres, present participle ensphering, simple past and past participle ensphered)

  1. (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).
    Synonyms: engulf, envelop
    • 1612, John Donne, “The Second Anniuersarie. Of the Progres of the Soule”, in The First Anniuersarie. An Anatomie of the World[1], London: S. Macham, page 8:
      shee whose eies enspheard
      Star-light inough, t’haue made the South controll,
      (Had shee beene there) the Starfull Northern Pole,
    • 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,[2]
      His ample shoulders in a cloud enspher’d
      Of fiery crimson.
    • 1634, John Milton, Comus, London: Humphrey Robinson, 1637, p. 1,[3]
      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, [...]
    • 1895, Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure[4], Part 2, Chapter 3:
      The girl for whom he was beginning to nourish an extraordinary tenderness was at this time ensphered by the same harmonies [those of the church choir and organ] as those which floated into his ears; and the thought was a delight to him.
    • 1990, A. S. Byatt, chapter 3, in Possession[5], 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.
  2. (transitive) To form into a sphere.
    • 1651, Thomas Carew, “Obsequies to the Lady Anne Hay”, in Poems, with a Maske[6], 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,[7]
      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.