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
Examples of symmetry in a Sentence
the symmetry of the human body
The building has perfect symmetry.
Recent Examples of symmetry from the Web
The new metropolis would consist of a giant tetrahedron—a pyramid made of equilateral triangles—a shape that Fuller, the popularizer of the geodesic dome, admired for its stability and symmetry.
Murayama and Watanabe refined the work so that physicists don’t have to look at the details of each specific system, and instead can tell whether or not weird behavior will arise just based on the number of symmetries broken.
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.
Origin and Etymology of symmetry
Latin symmetria, from Greek, from symmetros symmetrical, from syn- + metron measure — more at measure
First Known Use: 1563
SYMMETRY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of symmetry for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of symmetry for Students
: 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
Medical Definition of 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
Seen and Heard
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