hand·​ed·​ness ˈhan-dəd-nəs How to pronounce handedness (audio)
: a tendency to use one hand rather than the other
: the property of an object (such as a molecule) of not being identical with its mirror image : chirality
: either of the two configurations of an object that may exist in forms which are nonidentical mirror images

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Despite his handedness, Lovullo sees Fletcher as the type of player who can deal with left-handed pitching better than most. The Arizona Republic, 13 May 2023 For many years, scientists thought that handedness was unique to humans. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2021 Another theory, published in May, suggests the left-hand bias arose on Earth: After life emerged in a mix of mirror-image forms, the radiation of cosmic ray showers in the atmosphere, which has its own inherent handedness, offered an evolutionary advantage to organisms with left-handed proteins. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, 13 Aug. 2020 Perhaps, too, the Mavericks finally showed their short-handedness, missing three key rotation players. Dallas News, 5 Jan. 2023 Left-handedness serves as an apt underlying metaphor for this book. Heller Mcalpin, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2022 Haines, McCabe and Birch help run a solidaric group known as the British Left Handed Golfers Association, or B.L.H.G.A., a decades-old society that aims to promote left-handedness in a sport whose sinistral figures don’t necessarily reflect those of everyday society. Jack Williams, New York Times, 16 Sep. 2022 His play aside, George credited Lue’s even-handedness for helping the Clippers buy into the game plan that helped force the Jazz to miss all 10 of their 3-point attempts in the third quarter after shooting a combined 17-of-30 in the first half. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 17 June 2021 But a new type of robot, developed by researchers at a pair of Dutch universities and put to work for the first time recently in real-life surgeries, could add some sure-handedness in future operating rooms. Mclean Bennett, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'handedness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of handedness was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near handedness

Cite this Entry

“Handedness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handedness. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


hand·​ed·​ness -nəs How to pronounce handedness (audio)
: a tendency to use one hand rather than the other
: the property of an object (as a molecule) of not being identical with its mirror image
: the property of having either a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (as the corkscrew movement of some microorganisms or their flagella or cilia)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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