AskDefine | Define globe

Dictionary Definition



1 the 3rd planet from the sun; the planet on which we live; "the Earth moves around the sun"; "he sailed around the world" [syn: Earth, world]
2 an object with a spherical shape; "a ball of fire" [syn: ball, orb]
3 a sphere on which a map (especially of the earth) is represented

User Contributed Dictionary



From globe, from globus.




  1. Any spherical object
  2. The planet Earth.
  3. A spherical model of Earth or any planet.


the planet Earth
  • Czech: zeměkoule
  • Dutch: wereldbol
  • Finnish: maapallo
  • Italian: globo
  • Neapolitan: gruóbo
  • Telugu: (bhuugoolamu) భూగోళము
model of Earth
  • Czech: glóbus
  • Dutch: wereldbol
  • Finnish: karttapallo
  • German: Globus
  • Italian: globo
  • Neapolitan: gruóbo
  • Russian: глобус
  • Slovak: glóbus
  • Swedish: jordglob
  • Telugu: (goolamu) గోళము

Derived terms

Related terms



Form globus.



fr-noun m

Extensive Definition

A globe is a one-dimensional scale model of Earth (terrestrial globe) or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon. It may also (celestial globe) refer to a spherical representation of the celestial sphere, showing the apparent positions of the stars in the sky.
The word "globe" comes from the Latin word globus, meaning round mass or sphere.

Terrestrial and planetary globes

A globe is the only geographical representation that has negligible distortion over large areas; all flat maps are created using a map projection that inevitably introduces an increasing amount distortion the larger the area that the map shows. A typical scale for a terrestrial globe is roughly 1:40 million.
Sometimes a globe has relief, showing topography; in the case of a globe of the Earth the elevations are exaggerated, otherwise they would be hardly visible. Most modern globes are also imprinted with parallels and meridians so that one can (if only approximately due to scale) tell where a specific point on the surface of the planet is located.

Celestial globes

seealso Armillary sphere Celestial globes show the apparent positions of the stars in the sky. They omit the Sun, Moon and planets because the positions of these bodies vary relative to those of the stars, but the ecliptic, along which the Sun moves, is indicated.
A potential issue arises regarding the "handedness" of celestial globes. If the globe is constructed so that the stars are in the positions they actually occupy on the imaginary celestial sphere, then the star field will appear back-to-front on the surface of the globe (all the constellations will appear as their mirror images). This is because the view from Earth, positioned at the centre of the celestial sphere, is of the inside of the celestial sphere, whereas the celestial globe is viewed from the outside. For this reason, celestial globes may be produced in mirror image, so that at least the constellations appear the "right way round". Some modern celestial globes address this problem by making the surface of the globe transparent. The stars can then be placed in their proper positions and viewed through the globe, so that the view is of the inside of the celestial sphere, as it is from Earth.


The earliest known globe was constructed by the scholar Crates of Mallus in Cilicia (now Çukurova in modern-day Turkey) around 150 BC. An ancient celestial globe that still exists was made about 150 AD as part of a sculpture, called the Farnese Atlas, in the Naples Museum, Naples, Italy. The first globe of the Old World was constructed in the Muslim world during the Middle Ages. The oldest existing terrestrial globe was made by Martin Behaim in Nürnberg, Germany, in 1474. Then a small disk is used to paper over the inevitable irregularities at the poles. The more gores there are, the less stretching and crumpling is required to make the paper map fit the sphere. From a geometric point of view, all points on a sphere are equivalent – one could select any arbitrary point on the Earth, and create a paper map that covers the Earth with strips that come together at that point and the antipodal point. However, as the Earth is an oblate spheroid and not a perfect sphere, bulging slightly at the equator, to correctly represent the true shape of the Earth using such paper strips is more difficult.
A globe is usually mounted at an angle on bearings. In addition to making it easy to use this mounting also represents the angle of the planet in relation to its sun and the spin of the planet. This makes it easy to visualize how days and seasons change.

Notable large globes

  • The Unisphere in Queens, New York, at 120 feet in diameter the world's largest global structure.
  • Eartha, currently the world's largest rotating globe (41 feet in diameter), at the Delorme headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine
  • The Mapparium, 30 foot walk-in globe at the Christian Science complex in Boston, intended to be viewed from within.
  • The Babson globe in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a 26-foot diameter globe which originally rotated on its axis and on its base to simulate day and night and the seasons
  • The giant globe in the lobby of The News Building in New York City.
  • The Hitler Globe, also known as the Führer globe, was formally named the Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders. Two editions existed during Hitler's lifetime, created during the mid-1930s on his orders. (The second edition changed the name of Abyssinia to Italian East Africa). These globes were "enormous" and very costly. According to the New York Times, "the real Columbus globe was nearly the size of a Volkswagen and, at the time, more expensive." Several still exist, including three in Berlin: one at a geographical institute, one at the Märkisches Museum, and another at the Deutsches Historisches Museum. The latter has a Soviet bullet hole through Germany. One of the two in public collections in Munich has an American bullet hole through Germany. There are several in private hands inside and out of Germany. A much smaller version of Hitler's globe was mocked by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, a film released in 1940.


globe in Bulgarian: Глобус (картография)
globe in Catalan: Globus terraqüi
globe in Czech: Glóbus
globe in Danish: Globus
globe in German: Globus (Kartografie)
globe in Estonian: Gloobus
globe in Spanish: Globo terráqueo
globe in French: Globe planétaire
globe in Korean: 지구의
globe in Indonesian: Globe
globe in Italian: Globo
globe in Hebrew: גלובוס
globe in Dutch: Globe
globe in Japanese: 地球儀
globe in Norwegian: Globus
globe in Polish: Globus
globe in Russian: Глобус
globe in Sicilian: Crobbu
globe in Simple English: Globe
globe in Finnish: Karttapallo
globe in Swedish: Jordglob
globe in Tajik: Глобус
globe in Ukrainian: Глобус

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Earth, Gaea, Ge, Lambert conformal projection, Mercator projection, Miller projection, Tellus, Terra, aeronautical chart, astronomical chart, atlas, azimuthal equidistant projection, azimuthal projection, ball, balloon, bead, biosphere, bladder, blob, boll, bolus, bubble, bulb, bulbil, bulblet, cartographer, cartography, celestial chart, celestial globe, chart, chorographer, chorography, climatic chart, conglobulate, conic projection, contour line, contour map, cylindrical projection, earth, ellipsoid, general reference map, geography, geoid, geosphere, globelet, globoid, globule, glomerulus, gnomonic projection, gob, gobbet, graphic scale, grid line, hachure, heliographic chart, hydrographic chart, index, isoline, knob, knot, lamp shade, latitude, layer tint, legend, longitude, map, map maker, map projection, mapper, meridian, moonshade, mother earth, mushroom, oblate spheroid, orb, orbit, orblet, parallel, pellet, photogrammetrist, photogrammetry, photomap, phototopography, physical map, planet, political map, polyconic projection, projection, prolate spheroid, relief map, representative fraction, road map, rondure, round, scale, sinusoidal projection, snowball, special map, sphere, spherify, spheroid, spherule, terra, terrain map, terrestrial globe, the blue planet, thematic map, this pendent world, topographer, topographic chart, topography, transportation map, vale, vale of tears, weather chart, weather map, whole wide world, world
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