symmetry

noun
sym·​me·​try | \ ˈsi-mə-trē \
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

James marveled at the symmetry in this final showdown, but both players said their times together meant a whole lot more than their times in opposing uniforms. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Wade, James embrace final chance to compete on court," 11 Dec. 2018 Parity had been considered a fundamental symmetry in physics, holding that our world is indistinguishable from its mirror image. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nobel-prize winning physicist who coined “god particle” dead at 96," 3 Oct. 2018 In further symbolic symmetry, Franklin sang at Parks' funeral, which was held at the same Detroit church as Franklin's, and the singer will be entombed in the same cemetery as Parks. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Aretha Franklin mourners flock to Detroit museum for public viewing," 28 Aug. 2018 In simple spaces that don't have tremendous architectural integrity, symmetry helps to create order. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "John Peixinho on How He Transformed a One-Room Schoolhouse Into a Home," 5 Feb. 2015 Her condition leaves her craving symmetry, balance, and a certain obsession with the number 3. Laurie Espino, Seventeen, "The Butterfly Clues," 16 Apr. 2012 There’s symmetry, whether or not people in a space are in VR. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "With Venues, Oculus and Facebook Push Social VR Into New Territory," 30 May 2018 Recently, the study of mirror symmetry has taken a new turn. Kevin Hartnett, WIRED, "Exploring the Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds," 15 Apr. 2018 The campaign enjoys the symmetry of a 50th anniversary: June 23 marks a half-century since the culmination of the original Poor People’s Campaign, where 3,000 protesters camped on the Washington Mall for six weeks in the name of economic justice. Matt Stieb, Daily Intelligencer, "The Return of the Poor People’s Campaign," 19 June 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

13 Jan 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 \
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 \
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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