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[si-me-tri-kuh l] /sɪˈmɛ trɪ kəl/
characterized by or exhibiting symmetry; well-proportioned, as a body or whole; regular in form or arrangement of corresponding parts.
  1. noting two points in a plane such that the line segment joining the points is bisected by an axis:
    Points (1, 1) and (1, −1) are symmetrical with respect to the x-axis.
  2. noting a set consisting of pairs of points having this relation with respect to the same axis.
  3. noting two points in a plane such that the line segment joining the points is bisected by a point or center:
    The points (1, 1) and (−1, −1) are symmetrical with respect to (0, 0).
  4. noting a set consisting of pairs of points having this relation with respect to the same center.
Often, symmetric. Mathematics.
  1. noting a square matrix that is equal to its transpose.
  2. noting a dyad or dyadic that is equal to its conjugate.
  3. noting a relation in which one element in relation to a second implies the second in relation to the first.
  1. divisible into two similar parts by more than one plane passing through the center; actinomorphic.
  2. (of a flower) having the same number of parts in each whorl.
  1. having a structure that exhibits a regular repeated pattern of the component parts.
  2. noting a benzene derivative in which three substitutions have occurred at alternate carbon atoms.
affecting corresponding parts simultaneously, as certain diseases.
Origin of symmetrical
1745-55; symmetr(y) + -ical
Related forms
symmetrically, adverb
symmetricalness, noun
nonsymmetrical, adjective
unsymmetrical, adjective
unsymmetrically, adverb
1. balanced, orderly, regular, congruent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for symmetrically
  • symmetrically spreading, with dense blue-green foliage.
  • The form groups should be symmetrically related to, if not identical with, the function groups.
  • Tiny diamonds etch its design--olive branches with leaves--and, perched symmetrically upon them, eight doves.
  • But the animals grow symmetrically, with each half of the body developing independently of the other.
  • Human ears, by contrast, are shaped and positioned symmetrically on each side of our skulls.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects many joints, and often occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body.
  • On the left, the mirrors of a cedar sideboard reflected the symmetrically placed dishes.
  • Both can be operated asymmetrically or symmetrically.
  • The costs are not symmetrically distributed, in other words.
  • It leaves one in the same position, welfare-wise, as similarly-situated individuals with symmetrically lower incomes and costs.
British Dictionary definitions for symmetrically


possessing or displaying symmetry Compare asymmetric
  1. (of two points) capable of being joined by a line that is bisected by a given point or bisected perpendicularly by a given line or plane: the points (x, y) and (–x, –y) are symmetrical about the origin
  2. (of a configuration) having pairs of points that are symmetrical about a given point, line, or plane: a circle is symmetrical about a diameter
  3. (of an equation or function of two or more variables) remaining unchanged in form after an interchange of two variables: x + y = z is a symmetrical equation
(chem) (of a compound) having a molecular structure in which substituents are symmetrical about the molecule
(botany) another word for isomerous
Also symmetric. (of a disease, infection, etc) affecting both sides of the body or corresponding parts, such as both legs
Derived Forms
symmetrically, adverb
symmetricalness, 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 symmetrically



1570s (implied in symmetrically), from symmetry + -ical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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