9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sin-uh-struh l] /ˈsɪn ə strəl/
of, relating to, or on the left side; left (opposed to dextral).
(of certain gastropod shells) coiling counterclockwise, as seen from the apex.
Origin of sinistral
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin sinistrālis. See sinister, -al1
Related forms
sinistrally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sinistral
  • That's great for attacking snails with clockwise dextral shells, but less so for those with anti-clockwise sinistral ones.
  • It seems probable that a sinistral transform system was developed through this continental bridge.
British Dictionary definitions for sinistral


of, relating to, or located on the left side, esp the left side of the body
a technical term for left-handed
(of the shells of certain gastropod molluscs) coiling in a clockwise direction from the apex
Compare dextral
Derived Forms
sinistrally, adverb
Word Origin
C15 (in the obsolete sense: adverse, evil); C19 (in current senses): from Medieval Latin sinistrālis. See sinister
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 sinistral

late 15c., "unlucky," from Old French senestral, sinistral or Medieval Latin *sinistralis, from sinister (see sinister). Meaning "on the left side" is from 1803. Related: Sinistrally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sinistral in Medicine

sinistral sin·is·tral (sĭn'ĭ-strəl, sĭ-nĭs'trəl)

  1. Of, facing, or located on the left side; left.

  2. Left-handed.

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