[ 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).

Nearby words

  1. sinistrocular,
  2. sinistrodextral,
  3. sinistrogyration,
  4. sinistromanual,
  5. sinistropedal,
  6. sinistrotorsion,
  7. sinistrous,
  8. sinitic,
  9. sink,
  10. sink in

Origin of sinistrorse

1855–60; < Latin sinistrōrsus literally, turned leftwards, contraction of *sinistriversus. See sinister, versus

Related formssin·is·trorse·ly [sin-uh-strawrs-lee, sin-uh-strawrs-] /ˈsɪn əˌstrɔrs li, ˌsɪn əˈstrɔrs-/, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinistrorse

British Dictionary definitions for sinistrorse


/ (ˈsɪnɪˌstrɔːs, ˌsɪnɪˈstrɔːs) /


(of some climbing plants) growing upwards in a spiral from right to left, or clockwiseCompare dextrorse
Derived Formssinistrorsal, adjectivesinistrorsely, adverb

Word Origin for sinistrorse

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

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