Things that have symmetry are balanced, with each side reflecting the other. A human body has such complex symmetry, from eyes, ears, and nostrils to arms, legs, and feet, that even a minor injury can make a body look unbalanced.

Snowflakes and butterflies often have a remarkable natural symmetry, with patterns on one side matched by those on the other. Objects that have identical or very similar parts lying at equal distances from a central point or line or plane — that is, objects that have symmetry — often work better. Symmetry helps boats stay upright in water. In design, symmetry is a balancing of objects, as when two candlesticks on a fireplace mantel are at equal distances from the center of the mantel. A lack of symmetry — i.e., asymmetry — might mean putting both candlesticks together at one end of the mantel.

Definitions of symmetry

n balance among the parts of something

lack of proportion; imbalance among the parts of something
Type of:
balance, counterbalance, equilibrium, equipoise
equality of distribution

n (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane

balance, correspondence, symmetricalness
asymmetry, dissymmetry, imbalance
(mathematics) a lack of symmetry
geometrical regularity, regularity
a property of polygons: the property of having equal sides and equal angles
bilateral symmetry, bilateralism, bilaterality
the property of being symmetrical about a vertical plane
radial symmetry
the property of symmetry about an axis
Type of:
spatial property, spatiality
any property relating to or occupying space

n (physics) the property of being isotropic; having the same value when measured in different directions

the property of being anisotropic; having a different value when measured in different directions
Type of:
a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class

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