hand·ed·ness | \ˈhan-dəd-nəs \

Definition of handedness 

1 : a tendency to use one hand rather than the other

2a : the property of an object (such as a molecule) of not being identical with its mirror image : chirality

b : either of the two configurations of an object that may exist in forms which are nonidentical mirror images

Examples of handedness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This effect of handedness wasn’t known at the time. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego science reaches top tier in new global survey," 7 June 2018 The film treats my family’s aspirations with the heavy handedness of people who are viewing an African American family through a lens lacking in cultural sensibilities. Liz Mcneil, PEOPLE.com, "Read Cissy Houston's Emotional Full Statement About Claim That Whitney Houston Was Molested," 11 July 2018 The history of training people to use the non-dominant hand is fraught with abuse, as left-handedness was once the source of stigma. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez can throw with either hand. What does that say about his brain?," 3 July 2018 The heavy handedness is to achieve a certain result . . Fox News, "Pakistan's media faces threats, abductions ahead of vote," 26 June 2018 The army has responded with its usual heavy-handedness. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Pakistan’s Pashtuns Take On the Army—and Terrorists," 14 June 2018 Hosmer is appealing not only because of his age and left-handedness, but also because he is viewed as possessing rare intangibles. Dennis Lin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Eric Hosmer's intangibles, power potential could intrigue Padres," 16 Nov. 2017 Cash has stitched nine innings together based on short but favorable matchups between pitchers and batters of the same handedness. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Alex Bregman’s walk-off double gives Astros 12th straight win," 19 June 2018 Last year, one team concluded that handedness actually arises in the spinal cord. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Was Science Wrong About Being Right?," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handedness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handedness

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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H and D speed

H and D system






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Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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The first known use of handedness was in 1915

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More Definitions for handedness


hand·ed·ness | \-nəs \

Medical Definition of handedness 

1 : a tendency to use one hand rather than the other

2 : the property of an object (as a molecule) of not being identical with its mirror image

3 : the property of having either a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (as the corkscrew movement of some microorganisms or their flagella or cilia)

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