[ sin-uh-struh l ]
/ ˈsɪn ə strəl /


of, relating to, or on the left side; left (opposed to dextral).
(of certain gastropod shells) coiling counterclockwise, as seen from the apex.

Nearby words

  1. sinify,
  2. sinigrin,
  3. sining,
  4. sinister,
  5. sinistrad,
  6. sinistrality,
  7. sinistration,
  8. sinistro-,
  9. sinistrocardia,
  10. sinistrocerebral

Origin of sinistral

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word sinistrālis. See sinister, -al1

Related formssin·is·tral·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinistral

British Dictionary definitions for sinistral


/ (ˈsɪnɪstrəl) /


of, relating to, or located on the left side, esp the left side of the body
a technical term for left-handed
(of the shells of certain gastropod molluscs) coiling in a clockwise direction from the apex
Compare dextral

Derived Formssinistrally, adverb

Word Origin for sinistral

C15 (in the obsolete sense: adverse, evil); C19 (in current senses): from Medieval Latin sinistrālis. See sinister

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 sinistral



late 15c., "unlucky," from Old French senestral, sinistral or Medieval Latin *sinistralis, from sinister (see sinister). Meaning "on the left side" is from 1803. Related: Sinistrally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sinistral


[ sĭnĭ-strəl, sĭ-nĭstrəl ]


Of, facing, or located on the left side; left.

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