• synonyms


[an-ahy-suh-trop-ik, -troh-pik, an-ahy-]
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  1. Physics. of unequal physical properties along different axes.Compare isotropic(def 1).
  2. Botany. of different dimensions along different axes.
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Origin of anisotropic

First recorded in 1875–80; an-1 + isotropic
Related formsan·i·so·trop·i·cal·ly, adverban·i·sot·ro·py [an-ahy-so-truh-pee] /ˌæn aɪˈsɒ trə pi/, an·i·sot·ro·pism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anisotropic

Historical Examples

  • Both are adapted for determining the axes of elasticity and for the differentiation of isotropic and anisotropic bodies.

    Microscopes and Accessory Apparatus

    Ernst Leitz

  • The only condition requisite for the exhibition of response is the differential excitability of an anisotropic organ.

  • Whether variation of temperature induces in anisotropic organs only one type of response, or two types, positive and negative.

  • Thick lines represent the more excitable side of an anisotropic or dorsiventral organ.

British Dictionary definitions for anisotropic


  1. not isotropic; having different physical properties in different directionsanisotropic crystals
  2. (of a plant) responding unequally to an external stimulus in different parts of the plant
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Derived Formsanisotropically, adverbanisotropy (ˌænaɪˈsɒtrəpɪ), 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

Word Origin and History for anisotropic


1854; see an- (1) "not" + isotropic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anisotropic in Medicine


(ăn-ī′sə-trŏpĭk, -trōpĭk)
  1. Not isotropic.
  2. Having physical properties that differ according to the direction of measurement.
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Related formsan•i′so•tropi•cal•ly adv.an′i•sotro•pism (-sŏtrə-pĭz′əm) null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

anisotropic in Science


[ăn-ī′sə-trōpĭk, -trŏpĭk, ăn′ī-]
  1. Differing according to orientation, as light scattered by a liquid crystal; light striking the liquid crystal's surface at a 90° angle might not be reflected (so the surface appears dark when viewed head-on), while light striking it at shallower angles is reflected (so the surface appears illuminated when viewed from a shallow angle). Compare isotropic.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.