symmetry

noun
sym·​me·​try | \ ˈsi-mə-trē How to pronounce symmetry (audio) \
plural symmetries

Definition of symmetry

1 : balanced proportions also : beauty of form arising from balanced proportions
2 : the property of being symmetrical especially : correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line or median plane or about a center or axis — compare bilateral symmetry, radial symmetry
3 : a rigid motion of a geometric figure that determines a one-to-one mapping onto itself
4 : the property of remaining invariant under certain changes (as of orientation in space, of the sign of the electric charge, of parity, or of the direction of time flow) used of physical phenomena and of equations describing them

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Examples of symmetry in a Sentence

the symmetry of the human body The building has perfect symmetry.

Recent Examples on the Web

In other words, the incident and reflected ray make a perfectly symmetrical V shape, with the normal as the line of symmetry. Scientific American, "Distorted Images," 6 June 2019 There was a pleasing symmetry to it: The satellite sucked up its observations of the whole earth, and EUMETSAT sent them back out to the whole earth. Andrew Blum, WIRED, "Inside the Room Where They Control the Weather Satellites," 25 June 2019 Emmy Noether and her never-ending impact on algebra and physics due to her theorem on the relationship between symmetries and conservation law. Discover Magazine, "Women in Science," 4 Jan. 2019 Bonus: The Hand of the Mad King was Tywin Lannister, so there's even a nice symmetry to who the Mad Targaryens can't seem to trust. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Every Clue That Daenerys Targaryen Was Always Destined to Become the Mad Queen in 'Game of Thrones'," 13 May 2019 The internal flow disrupts the symmetry of the vapor cushion, leading to the drop accelerating off in some direction all on its own. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Free-wheeling water droplets plot their own path off a hot plate," 14 Sep. 2018 The difference in symmetry between the three experiments generates a different flow in the fluid. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quark-gluon plasma reveals viscosity-free properties," 19 Dec. 2018 However, these marine creatures are widely known for their symmetry in shape, whereas stylophorans are amorphous and strange in physical composition. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A 150-Year Old Weird Ancient Animal Mystery, Solved," 22 Feb. 2019 Consistency is key, as traditional design seeks to create a calm, orderly space, so furnishings will match, symmetry is huge, and everything seems to just go together. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'symmetry.' 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 symmetry

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for symmetry

Latin symmetria, from Greek, from symmetros symmetrical, from syn- + metron measure — more at measure

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Statistics for symmetry

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for symmetry

The first known use of symmetry was in 1563

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More Definitions for symmetry

symmetry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of symmetry

: the quality of something that has two sides or halves that are the same or very close in size, shape, and position : the quality of having symmetrical parts

symmetry

noun
sym·​me·​try | \ ˈsi-mə-trē How to pronounce symmetry (audio) \
plural symmetries

Kids Definition of symmetry

: close agreement in size, shape, and position of parts that are on opposite sides of a dividing line or center : an arrangement involving regular and balanced proportions the symmetry of the human body

symmetry

noun
sym·​me·​try | \ ˈsim-ə-trē How to pronounce symmetry (audio) \
plural symmetries

Medical Definition of symmetry

1 : correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line or median plane or about a center or axis — see bilateral symmetry, radial symmetry
2 : the property of remaining invariant under certain changes (as of orientation in space, of the sign of the electric charge, of parity, or of the direction of time flow) used of physical phenomena and of equations describing them

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Comments on symmetry

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