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Etymology

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From Latin symmetria, from Ancient Greek συμμετρία (summetría), from σύμμετρος (súmmetros, symmetrical), from σύν (sún, with) + μέτρον (métron, measure). By surface analysis, sym- +‎ -metry.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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symmetry (countable and uncountable, plural symmetries)

  1. Exact correspondence on either side of a dividing line, plane, center or axis.
  2. The satisfying arrangement of a balanced distribution of the elements of a whole.
    • 1921, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 1925, →OCLC:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.

Derived terms

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Translations

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References

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  1. ^ In old poetic usage, symmetry is sometimes pronounced /ˈsɪmɪtɹaɪ/ (enPR: sĭʹmĭtrī), as, for example, in the first verse of William Blake’s “The Tyger” in Songs of Experience (1794):
    Tyger Tyger, burning bright, / In the forests of the night: / What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?