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or asymmetrical

[ey-suh-me-trik or ey-suh-me-tri-kuh l; as-uh-] /ˌeɪ səˈmɛ trɪk or ˌeɪ səˈmɛ trɪ kəl; 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.
Origin of asymmetric
First recorded in 1870-75; a-6 + symmetric
Related forms
asymmetrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for asymmetric
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What in the name of all the Csars does an asymmetric atom of carbon mean?

    Katharine Frensham Beatrice Harraden
  • This is usually attributed to the presence of an irregular astigmatism situated near the asymmetric meridian.

    Schweigger on Squint C. Schweigger
  • I was trying to fit the shovel in and I remember saying that is too asymmetric.

    Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Similarly, for a ketohexose, which contains three asymmetric carbon atoms, there are eight possible arrangements.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • Hence, all the possible compounds indicated by the presence of the asymmetric carbon have been found and identified.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • On the left, with the ophthalmoscope hypermetropia 4·5 D. with asymmetric meridian.

    Schweigger on Squint C. Schweigger
British Dictionary definitions for asymmetric


/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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