5. A body of troops, or of men or animals, drawn up in a circle; a military formation used by the Romans, answering to the modern infantry square. "Him round A globe of fiery seraphim inclosed." (Milton) Globe amaranth, a thistlelike plant with the flowers in large globular heads (Cynara Scolymus); also, certain species of the related genus Echinops. Globe valve. A ball valve. A valve inclosed in a globular chamber.
Globe denotes a round, and usually a solid body; sphere is the term applied in astronomy to such a body, or to the concentric spheres or orbs of the old astronomers; orb is used, especially in poetry, for globe or sphere, and also for the pathway of a heavenly body; ball is applied to the heavenly bodies concieved of as impelled through space.
Origin: L. Globus, perh. Akin to L. Glomus a ball of yarn, and E. Clump, golf: cf. F. Globe.
(01 Mar 1998)
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