The term incorporates ideas about history, geography, politics, legal systems, and economics, and its definition is necessarily loose. It can mean just English-speaking nations, or it may mean all the nations which use legal systems based on Common law. It can also be seen as an expansion of Atlanticism, a much older concept in international relations, to include Pacific nations such as Australia and New Zealand. It also fills a gap in the English vocabulary corresponding roughly to the French phrase le monde Anglo-Saxon. Thus, it could carry a wide variety of connotations.
According to Bennett, "the Anglosphere is not a club that a person or nation can join or be excluded from, but a condition or status on a network", and
... as a network civilization ... without a corresponding political form, has necessarily imprecise boundaries. Geographically, the densest nodes of the Anglosphere are found in the United States and the United Kingdom, while Anglophone regions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa are powerful and populous outliers. The educated English-speaking populations of the Caribbean, Oceania, Africa and India pertain to the Anglosphere to various degrees.
Historian Robert Conquest has also promoted the concept. John Ibbitson of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail identified five core English-speaking countries with common sociopolitical heritage and goals: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Writer Mark Steyn, who uses the term often, takes it to denote the nations that were or have been part of the British Empire for a significant period of time, and thus were heavily subject to British political influence: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States at the core, then India, New Zealand, and South Africa, and finally outliers like Grenada and St. Lucia.