Definition of dextral in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdekstrəl/


1Of or on the right side or the right hand (the opposite of sinistral), in particular.
Example sentences
  • Commonly there is a partitioning of sinistral and dextral criteria on alternate horizons, but horizons occur where both senses coexist.
  • Zhang noted that both sinistral and dextral Pa and Pb elements differed entirely.
  • It is interesting to speculate why most screw threads are dextral and only a relatively small number are sinistral threads.
Example sentences
  • The literal-minded dextral dwarfs of the right-wing press are undone somewhat by irony and wit, especially since they believe they are uniquely blessed with a ‘sense of humour’.
  • Rather, one form of the gene, which we may call D for dextral, may code for right-handedness, while the other allele, which we may call C for chance, leaves the direction of handedness to chance.
  • Although sinistral individuals are known in many normally dextral species, left-handedness as a characteristic of species is rare in most gastropod clades.
1.2 Geology Relating to or denoting a strike-slip fault in which the motion of the block on the further side of the fault from an observer is toward the right.
Example sentences
  • In fact, Aleksandrowski et al proposed that the complex was originally contiguous with the Northern Phyllite Zone in Germany and that dextral strike-slip fault movement translated this region southeastward to its present position.
  • In this interpretation, the Troodos ophiolite formed to the east (in its current orientation) of a ridge-transform ridge intersection, in which the transform had a dextral offset and sinistral slip.
  • In the northern Musgrave Block the Petermann Orogeny generated large-scale east-west-trending shear zones that accommodated dextral strike-slip and north- and south-directed thrusting.
1.3 Zoology (Of a spiral mollusk shell) with whorls rising to the right and coiling in a counterclockwise direction.
Example sentences
  • There are dextral species, sinistral species, and a variable species (P. suturalis-see below) all within the same genus.
  • In plan view, several specimens show minor changes in the generally linear orientation with either a sinistral or a dextral turn.
  • Nevertheless, sinistral and dextral Pb elements are virtually mirror images, that is, they are more alike than the corresponding elements in L. variabilis.


A right-handed person.
Example sentences
  • The five superfamilies shown in Figure 2 depict the five kinds of clade found with respect to the occurrence of sinistrals and dextrals: sinistrals only; majority sinistral; very heterogeneous; majority dextral; dextrals only.



Pronunciation: /dekˈstralədē/
Example sentences
  • Overall, then, there is no trend from dextrality to sinistrality.
  • This tendency towards dextrality was explored further by examining a museum collection of extremities of walrus skeletons.
  • It is possible that other commissural systems that transmit motor commands and thus influence dextrality may also manifest sexual orientation-related differences.


Example sentences
  • Both species described here are sinistrally coiled, but a similar pattern of ornamentation is present on two Pennsylvanian species that are dextrally coiled.
  • Thus, the gerontic aperture of these dextrally coiled shells is situated on the left side in apertural view.
  • Clockwise rotation of the trend of volcanic ridges is associated with dextrally offset, sinistrally slipping transforms, while anticlockwise rotation is associated with sinistrally offset, dextrally slipping transforms.


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin dextralis, from Latin dextra 'the right hand', from dexter 'on the right'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dex·tral

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