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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of symmetry in a Sentence

the symmetry of the human body The building has perfect symmetry.
Recent Examples on the Web De Wilde’s Emma sacrifices complex personality and playfulness of spirit to the subtle tyranny of synchrony, symmetry and surface order, which Emma uses to her advantage. The Conversation, "Perfection comes at a price in latest adaptation of Austen’s ‘Emma’," 27 Mar. 2020 Other factors driving bumble bee flower use include the length of their tongue, flower symmetry and color preference. Kristen Rogers And David G. Allan, CNN, "If you want to save bumble bees, plant these flowers in your yard," 28 Jan. 2020 To that end, the architect took his inspiration for the interiors from French design, utilizing symmetry and abundant natural light. Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, "Sellers find a time capsule in their Los Feliz home," 4 Oct. 2019 The flight will have a nice symmetry with the last human orbital launch from US soil, which occurred on July 8, 2011 with the final flight of the space shuttle. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX’s Crew Dragon gets a launch date—May 27," 17 Apr. 2020 That adds up to just over $13 billion in fallback financial reserves for the company, a total which happens to have some perverse symmetry with the record movie box office revenues scored by Disney in 2019. Bill Carter, CNN, "Disney needs credit, and has earned it," 16 Apr. 2020 Fearful symmetry Emma’s social superiority in de Wilde’s film is conveyed visually. The Conversation, "Perfection comes at a price in latest adaptation of Austen’s ‘Emma’," 27 Mar. 2020 In other words, symmetry wouldn’t any longer apply just to Fed officials’ intentions. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed’s 2020 Rate Outlook Clouded by Framework Review," 31 Jan. 2020 Scientists often describe symmetries as changes that don’t really change anything, differences that don’t make a difference, variations that leave deep relationships invariant. Wired, "The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries," 14 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about symmetry

Time Traveler for symmetry

Time Traveler

The first known use of symmetry was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for symmetry

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Symmetry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/symmetry. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for symmetry

symmetry

noun
How to pronounce symmetry (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on symmetry

What made you want to look up symmetry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!