# symmetry

[sim-i-tree]

- the correspondence in size, form, and arrangement of parts on opposite sides of a plane, line, or point; regularity of form or arrangement in terms of like, reciprocal, or corresponding parts.
- the proper or due proportion of the parts of a body or whole to one another with regard to size and form; excellence of proportion.
- beauty based on or characterized by such excellence of proportion.
- Mathematics.
- a geometrical or other regularity that is possessed by a mathematical object and is characterized by the operations that leave the object invariant: A circle has rotational symmetry and reflection symmetry.
- a rotation or translation of a plane figure that leaves the figure unchanged although its position may be altered.

- Physics. a property of a physical system that is unaffected by certain mathematical transformations as, for example, the work done by gravity on an object, which is not affected by any change in the position from which the potential energy of the object is measured.

## Origin of symmetry^{}

## Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com1. consonance, concord, correspondence. Symmetry, balance, proportion, harmony are terms used, particularly in the arts, to denote qualities based upon a correspondence or agreement, usually pleasing, among the parts of a whole. Symmetry implies either a quantitative equality of parts ( the perfect symmetry of pairs of matched columns ) or a unified system of subordinate parts: the symmetry of a well-ordered musical composition. Balance implies equality of parts, often as a means of emphasis: Balance in sentences may emphasize the contrast in ideas. Proportion depends less upon equality of parts than upon that agreement among them that is determined by their relation to a whole: The dimensions of the room gave a feeling of right proportion. Harmony, a technical term in music, may also suggest the pleasing quality that arises from a just ordering of parts in other forms of artistic composition: harmony of line, color, mass, phrase, ideas.

## Antonyms

1. asymmetry.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

## Examples from the Web for symmetry

### Contemporary Examples

#### But, he says, what ultimately makes a hat look good on a person is the symmetry of the crown of their head to their jaw line.

#### In a nice bit of symmetry, 56% of Democrats said that Bush should be impeached in July of 2007, according to a Rasmussen survey.

#### The symmetry of their experiences only made her more determined to continue her journey.

#### At that point, with a loss of symmetry in the power provided by the engines, the airplane banks sharply and dives, into the water.

#### “Symmetry, both front-to-back and side-to-side, helps us function every day and prevents injuries,” says Sakhrani.

### Historical Examples

#### I do not think those top-gallant-sails have the symmetry of the canvas of a ship-of-war.

Homeward BoundJames Fenimore Cooper

#### Symmetry is the opposition of equal quantities to each other.

Modern Painters Volume II (of V)John Ruskin

#### Look at it generally, and it is all symmetry and arrangement.

Modern Painters Volume I (of V)John Ruskin

#### Lastly, Variety: Variety is never so conspicuous, as when it is united with symmetry.

Modern Painters Volume I (of V)John Ruskin

#### There are three criteria of goodness—beauty, symmetry, truth.

PhilebusPlato

# symmetry

- similarity, correspondence, or balance among systems or parts of a system
- maths an exact correspondence in position or form about a given point, line, or planeSee symmetrical (def. 2)
- beauty or harmony of form based on a proportionate arrangement of parts
- physics the independence of a property with respect to direction; isotropy

## Word Origin

C16: from Latin symmetria, from Greek summetria proportion, from syn- + metron measure

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

## Word Origin and History for symmetry

### n.

1560s, "relation of parts, proportion," from Latin symmetria, from Greek symmetria "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement," from symmetros "having a common measure, even, proportionate," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + metron "meter" (see meter (n.2)). Meaning "harmonic arrangement of parts" first recorded 1590s. Symmetrophobia is from 1809, supposed to be evident in Egyptian temples and Japanese art.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

# symmetry

(sĭm′ĭ-trē)

- Exact correspondence of form and constituent configuration on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane or about a center or an axis.

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

# symmetry

[sĭm′ĭ-trē]

- An exact matching of form and arrangement of parts on opposite sides of a boundary, such as a plane or line, or around a central point or axis.
- Physics See invariance.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

# symmetry

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.