Definition of symmetry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsimətrē/

noun (plural symmetries)

1The quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis: this series has a line of symmetry through its center a crystal structure with hexagonal symmetry
More example sentences
  • In principle, it is possible that the hexagonal symmetry of the inner structure is a result of superposition of stacks of membranes oriented at different angles.
  • When an egg is spun on its side, its axis of symmetry - a line stretching between the eggs' two tips - starts off by being horizontal.
  • Certain corals, for example, build structures with hexagonal symmetry, but not in seafloor sediment.
1.1Correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing: an overall symmetry making the poem pleasant to the ear
More example sentences
  • Sometimes he identifies the beautiful with the typical in nature, but in De re aedificatoria he constructs a theory of beauty around mathematical symmetry and proportion of parts.
  • The judges were more interested in size than overall balance, proportion and symmetry.
  • This claim uncovers why we find certain formal properties such as symmetry and regularity aesthetically pleasing.
1.2Similarity or exact correspondence between different things: a lack of symmetry between men and women history sometimes exhibits weird symmetries between events
More example sentences
  • There was too great a link and matching symmetry between the different movements, each one anchored by a duet.
  • The key point is its re-establishment of symmetry between social relations.
  • There is a significant lack of symmetry between the two acts of the play, separated by a fifteen minute interval, which I found a distraction.
1.3 Physics & Mathematics A law or operation in which a physical property or process has an equivalence in two or more directions.
Example sentences
  • The usual group of spacetime symmetries in relativistic quantum field theory is called the Poincaré group.
  • The mathematical beauty and experimental success of this idea have led physicists to extend it to higher energies and possible higher symmetries, as will be described below.
  • String theory and/or supersymmetry, for example, involve higher dimensions of space that introduce new degrees of freedom and possible violations of space-time symmetries such as Lorentz symmetry.



Pronunciation: /ˈsiməˌtrīz/
Example sentences
  • He is somebody who saw himself in a way as purifying, simplifying, symmetrizing - bringing out elements of a less baroque physics.
  • The huge machines plowed away the ridge and symmetrized all the fields as systematically as possible.
  • To check whether the results were affected by this definition, we also symmetrized each matrix using the rule that there was a link between two people only if each member of the pair nominated the other.


Mid 16th century (denoting proportion): from French symétrie or Latin symmetria, from Greek, from sun- 'with' + metron 'measure'.

Words that rhyme with symmetry


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sym·me·try

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