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Word of the Day
Saturday, November 08, 2014

Definitions for sinistral

  1. left-handed.
  2. of, pertaining to, or on the left side; left (opposed to dextral).
  3. (of certain gastropod shells) coiling counterclockwise, as seen from the apex.

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Citations for sinistral
During our years of separation (quite painless for us both), he had changed from a poor, wiry student with animated, night-dark eyes and a beautiful, strong, sinistral handwriting into a dignified, rather corpulent gentleman… Vladimir Nabokov, "Ultima Thule," The New Yorker, April 7, 1973
Useful though the confirmation was--Constantin had noticed Malek apparently trying to conceal his left-handedness during their meals and when opening and closing the windows--he found this sinistral aspect of Malek's personality curiously disturbing, and indication that there would be nothing predictable about his opponent, or the ensuing struggle of wits between them. J.G. Ballard, "End Game," The Terminal Beach, 1964
Origin of sinistral
late Middle English
1425-1475
Sinistral is related to the word sinister and meant "unlucky" when it entered English in the 1400s. It was extended to mean "on the left side" in the early 1800s.