or sym·met·ric

[si-me-tri-kuhl or si-me-trik]


characterized by or exhibiting symmetry; well-proportioned, as a body or whole; regular in form or arrangement of corresponding parts.
  1. noting two points in a plane such that the line segment joining the points is bisected by an axis: Points (1, 1) and (1, −1) are symmetrical with respect to the x-axis.
  2. noting a set consisting of pairs of points having this relation with respect to the same axis.
  3. noting two points in a plane such that the line segment joining the points is bisected by a point or center: The points (1, 1) and (−1, −1) are symmetrical with respect to (0, 0).
  4. noting a set consisting of pairs of points having this relation with respect to the same center.
Often symmetric. Mathematics.
  1. noting a square matrix that is equal to its transpose.
  2. noting a dyad or dyadic that is equal to its conjugate.
  3. noting a relation in which one element in relation to a second implies the second in relation to the first.
  1. divisible into two similar parts by more than one plane passing through the center; actinomorphic.
  2. (of a flower) having the same number of parts in each whorl.
  1. having a structure that exhibits a regular repeated pattern of the component parts.
  2. noting a benzene derivative in which three substitutions have occurred at alternate carbon atoms.
affecting corresponding parts simultaneously, as certain diseases.

Origin of symmetrical

First recorded in 1745–55; symmetr(y) + -ical
Related formssym·met·ri·cal·ly, adverbsym·met·ri·cal·ness, nounnon·sym·met·ri·cal, adjectiveun·sym·met·ri·cal, adjectiveun·sym·met·ri·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for symmetrical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for symmetric

Historical Examples of symmetric

British Dictionary definitions for symmetric



logic maths (of a relation) holding between a pair of arguments x and y when and only when it holds between y and x, as … is a sibling of … but not … is a brother of …Compare asymmetric (def. 5), antisymmetric, nonsymmetric
another word for symmetrical (def. 5)



possessing or displaying symmetryCompare asymmetric
  1. (of two points) capable of being joined by a line that is bisected by a given point or bisected perpendicularly by a given line or planethe points ( x, y ) and ( –x, –y ) are symmetrical about the origin
  2. (of a configuration) having pairs of points that are symmetrical about a given point, line, or planea circle is symmetrical about a diameter
  3. (of an equation or function of two or more variables) remaining unchanged in form after an interchange of two variablesx + y = z is a symmetrical equation
chem (of a compound) having a molecular structure in which substituents are symmetrical about the molecule
botany another word for isomerous
Also: symmetric (of a disease, infection, etc) affecting both sides of the body or corresponding parts, such as both legs
Derived Formssymmetrically, adverbsymmetricalness, 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 symmetric

1796, from symmetry + -ic.



1570s (implied in symmetrically), from symmetry + -ical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

symmetric in Science


[sĭ-mĕtrĭk]symmetrical (sĭ-mĕtrĭ-kəl)

Relating to or exhibiting symmetry.
Relating to a logical or mathematical relation between two elements such that if the first element is related to the second element, the second element is related in like manner to the first. The relation a = b is symmetric, whereas the relation a > b is not.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.