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[sin-uh-strawrs, si-nis-trawrs, sin-uh-strawrs] /ˈsɪn əˌstrɔrs, sɪˈnɪs trɔrs, ˌsɪn əˈstrɔrs/
adjective, Botany.
(from a point of view at the center of the spiral) rising spirally in a counterclockwise manner, as a stem (opposed to dextrorse).
Origin of sinistrorse
1855-60; < Latin sinistrōrsus literally, turned leftwards, contraction of *sinistriversus. See sinister, versus
Related forms
[sin-uh-strawrs-lee, sin-uh-strawrs-] /ˈsɪn əˌstrɔrs li, ˌsɪn əˈstrɔrs-/ (Show IPA),
adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for sinistrorse


/ˈsɪnɪˌstrɔːs; ˌsɪnɪˈstrɔːs/
(of some climbing plants) growing upwards in a spiral from right to left, or clockwise Compare dextrorse
Derived Forms
sinistrorsal, adjective
sinistrorsely, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Latin sinistrōrsus turned towards the left, from sinister on the left + vertere to turn
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 sinistrorse

1856, a word wanted by the botanists to describe the direction of spiral structures in nature, from Latin sinistrorsus "toward the left side," from sinister "left" (see sinister). It was paired with dextrorse but confusion over what was the proper point of view to reckon leftward or rightward spiraling prevented the word being as useful as it might have been.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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