si·​nis·​tral | \ ˈsi-nə-strəl How to pronounce sinistral (audio) , sə-ˈni- \

Definition of sinistral

: of, relating to, or inclined to the left: such as
b of a gastropod shell : having the whorls coiling counterclockwise down the spire when viewed with the apex toward the observer and having the aperture situated on the left of the axis when held with the spire uppermost and with the aperture opening toward the observer — compare dextral sense b

Examples of sinistral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Six of 32 dextral snails produced 17 sinistral offspring out of 6,302 total offspring. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Two lefties make a right, if you're a rare garden snail," 2 June 2020 Its shell coiled counterclockwise to the left instead of the right, which made Jeremy a sinistral snail. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Two lefties make a right, if you're a rare garden snail," 2 June 2020

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

First Known Use of sinistral

1534, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sinistral was in 1534

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Statistics for sinistral

Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sinistral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for sinistral


si·​nis·​tral | \ ˈsin-əs-trəl How to pronounce sinistral (audio) , sə-ˈnis- How to pronounce sinistral (audio) \

Medical Definition of sinistral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or inclined to the left especially : left-handed



Medical Definition of sinistral (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person exhibiting dominance of the left hand and eye : a left-handed person

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