• synonyms


[sin-uh-strawrs, si-nis-trawrs, sin-uh-strawrs]
adjective Botany.
  1. (from a point of view at the center of the spiral) rising spirally in a counterclockwise manner, as a stem (opposed to dextrorse).
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sinistrorse

Historical Examples

  • Sinistrorse, sin′is-trors, adj. rising from left to right, as a spiral line.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 4 of 4: S-Z and supplements)


British Dictionary definitions for sinistrorse


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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper