Definitions for: Symmetry


[n] (mathematics) an attribute of a shape; exact correspondence of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
[n] balance among the parts of something



Webster (1913) Definition: Sym"me*try, n. [L. symmetria, Gr. ?; sy`n with,
together + ? a measure: cf. F. sym['e]trie. See Syn-, and
Meter rhythm.]
1. A due proportion of the several parts of a body to each
other; adaptation of the form or dimensions of the several
parts of a thing to each other; the union and conformity
of the members of a work to the whole.

2. (Biol.) The law of likeness; similarity of structure;
regularity in form and arrangement; orderly and similar
distribution of parts, such that an animal may be divided
into parts which are structurally symmetrical.

Note: Bilateral symmetry, or two-sidedness, in vertebrates,
etc., is that in which the body can be divided into
symmetrical halves by a vertical plane passing through
the middle; radial symmetry, as in echinoderms, is that
in which the individual parts are arranged
symmetrically around a central axis; serial symmetry,
or zonal symmetry, as in earthworms, is that in which
the segments or metameres of the body are disposed in a
zonal manner one after the other in a longitudinal
axis. This last is sometimes called metamerism.

3. (Bot.)
(a) Equality in the number of parts of the successive
circles in a flower.
(b) Likeness in the form and size of floral organs of the
same kind; regularity.

Axis of symmetry. (Geom.) See under Axis.

Respective symmetry, that disposition of parts in which
only the opposite sides are equal to each other.

Synonyms: balance, correspondence, proportion, symmetricalness

Antonyms: asymmetry, disproportion, imbalance

See Also: balance, bilateral symmetry, bilateralism, bilaterality, counterbalance, equilibrium, equipoise, geometrical regularity, radial symmetry, regularity, spatial property, spatiality

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