9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ey-suh-me-trik, as-uh-] /ˌeɪ səˈmɛ trɪk, ˌæs ə-/
not identical on both sides of a central line; unsymmetrical; lacking symmetry:
Most faces are asymmetric.
(of a logical or mathematical relation) holding true of members of a class in one order but not in the opposite order, as in the relation “being an ancestor of.”.
  1. having an unsymmetrical arrangement of atoms in a molecule.
  2. noting a carbon atom bonded to four different atoms or groups.
  3. (of a polymer) noting an atom or group that is within a polymer chain and is bonded to two different atoms or groups that are external to the chain.
Also, asymmetrical.
Origin of asymmetric
1870-75; a-6 + symmetric
Related forms
asymmetrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for asymmetrical
  • There are two basic kinds of catamarans on the market: symmetrical and asymmetrical.
  • The job market is full of exploitation and asymmetrical power relationships.
  • But in asymmetrical warfare, the test of victory is asymmetrical too.
  • Apparently the asymmetrical standard is that anything else other the lies offered is evidence of censorship.
  • The asymmetrical placement of the mantelpiece and pendant lights balances the equally offset wall.
  • Suddenly, the future prospects for the coalition and opposition look rather asymmetrical.
  • The other balance, asymmetrical balance, dissimilar objects are used to appear equal.
  • With the revival of newsboy caps and asymmetrical bobs, it was predictable that the one-earring look wouldn't be far behind.
  • They are buoyed by the fact that, after a year of asymmetrical losses, their uprising is starting to spread fear more evenly.
  • Here again we're talking about asymmetrical information.
British Dictionary definitions for asymmetrical


/ˌæsɪˈmɛtrɪk; ˌeɪ-/
not symmetrical; lacking symmetry; misproportioned
  1. (of a molecule) having its atoms and radicals arranged unsymmetrically
  2. (of a carbon atom) attached to four different atoms or radicals so that stereoisomerism results
  3. involving chiral molecules: asymmetric synthesis
(electrical engineering) (of conductors) having different conductivities depending on the direction of current flow, as of diodes
(aeronautics) having unequal thrust, as caused by an inoperative engine in a twin-engined aircraft
(logic, maths) (of a relation) never holding between a pair of values x and y when it holds between y and x, as "…is the father of…" Compare symmetric (sense 1), antisymmetric, nonsymmetric
Derived Forms
asymmetrically, adverb
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 asymmetrical

1680s; see asymmetry + -ical. Other forms that have served as an adjective based on asymmetry are asymmetral (1620s), asymmetrous (1660s), and asymmetric (1875); only the last seems to have any currency. Related: Asymmetrically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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asymmetrical in Medicine

asymmetrical a·sym·met·ri·cal (ā'sĭ-mět'rĭ-kəl) or a·sym·met·ric (-rĭk)
Abbr. a
Lacking symmetry between two or more like parts; not symmetrical.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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