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[an-ahy-suh-trop-ik, -troh-pik, an-ahy-] /ænˌaɪ səˈtrɒp ɪk, -ˈtroʊ pɪk, ˌæn aɪ-/
Physics. of unequal physical properties along different axes.
Compare isotropic (def 1).
Botany. of different dimensions along different axes.
Origin of anisotropic
1875-80; an-1 + isotropic
Related forms
anisotropically, adverb
[an-ahy-so-truh-pee] /ˌæn aɪˈsɒ trə pi/ (Show IPA),
anisotropism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anisotropy
Historical Examples
  • The diurnal curve of movement should now show an inversion, if that movement was solely determined by the anisotropy of the organ.

    Life Movements in Plants Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
British Dictionary definitions for anisotropy


/ænˌaɪsəʊˈtrɒpɪk; ˌænaɪ-/
not isotropic; having different physical properties in different directions: anisotropic crystals
(of a plant) responding unequally to an external stimulus in different parts of the plant
Derived Forms
anisotropically, adverb
anisotropy (ˌænaɪˈsɒtrəpɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anisotropy



1854; see an- (1) "not" + isotropic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anisotropy in Medicine

anisotropic an·i·so·trop·ic (ān-ī'sə-trŏp'ĭk, -trō'pĭk)

  1. Not isotropic.

  2. Having physical properties that differ according to the direction of measurement.

an·i'so·trop'i·cal·ly adv.
an'i·sot'ro·pism (-sŏt'rə-pĭz'əm) or an'i·sot'ro·py (-sŏt'rə-pē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anisotropy in Science
  (ān-ī'sə-trō'pĭk, -trŏp'ĭk, ān'ī-)   
Differing according to orientation, as light scattered by a liquid crystal; light striking the liquid crystal's surface at a 90° angle might not be reflected (so the surface appears dark when viewed head-on), while light striking it at shallower angles is reflected (so the surface appears illuminated when viewed from a shallow angle). Compare isotropic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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