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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.



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.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      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.

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  1. ^ In old poetic usage, symmetry is sometimes pronounced 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?