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Symmetry   Listen
noun
Symmetry  n.  
1.
A due proportion of the several parts of a body to each other; adaptation of the form or dimensions of the several parts of a thing to each other; the union and conformity of the members of a work to the whole.
2.
(Biol.) The law of likeness; similarity of structure; regularity in form and arrangement; orderly and similar distribution of parts, such that an animal may be divided into parts which are structurally symmetrical. Note: Bilateral symmetry, or two-sidedness, in vertebrates, etc., is that in which the body can be divided into symmetrical halves by a vertical plane passing through the middle; radial symmetry, as in echinoderms, is that in which the individual parts are arranged symmetrically around a central axis; serial symmetry, or zonal symmetry, as in earthworms, is that in which the segments or metameres of the body are disposed in a zonal manner one after the other in a longitudinal axis. This last is sometimes called metamerism.
3.
(Bot.)
(a)
Equality in the number of parts of the successive circles in a flower.
(b)
Likeness in the form and size of floral organs of the same kind; regularity.
Axis of symmetry. (Geom.) See under Axis.
Respective symmetry, that disposition of parts in which only the opposite sides are equal to each other.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Symmetry" Quotes from Famous Books



... the garden, but Patty, while she admired them very much, thought them too stiff and formal for her taste. Laid out, as they are, according to the laws of geometrical symmetry, it seemed to Patty that grace and beauty were sacrificed to squares and ...
— Patty in Paris • Carolyn Wells

... colour down her graceful neck. Dark eyes shone above, fresh and dewy with love and youth, and smiled out with all ancientest witcheries and allurements in their depths. Her lithe, slender body was simply clad in a fair white cloth of some foreign fabric, and her waist, of perfectest symmetry, was cinctured by a broad ring of solid silver, which, to the young man, looked so slender that he could have clasped it ...
— The Black Douglas • S. R. Crockett

... canes are, as the term in the cane trade is, "shaved"; that is, not being of the circumference most coveted, but too thick, they have been whittled down in bulk. A prime Malacca cane is, of course, a natural stem, and it is a nice point to have a slight irregularity in its symmetry as evidence of this. The delicious spotting of a Malacca cane is due to the action of the sun upon it in drying. As the stems are dried in sheaves, those most richly splotched are the ones that have been at the outside of the bundle. What new strength to meet life's troubles, what electric ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... multitude by the officers in attendance, and the wretched Veenah made her appearance, supported by her own father on one side, and an uncle on the other—pale enough to be taken for an European—emaciated indeed, but still retaining the same exquisite beauty of features and symmetry of form. She moved with the air of one who was utterly indifferent to the concerns of this world, and to the awful fate which awaited her. She turned her head on hearing the sound of my voice, and, seeing me, shrieked out, "He lives! he lives!" but immediately ...
— A Voyage to the Moon • George Tucker

... called the "petty envy" of a possible rival, and the uneasy desire to outshine such an one in all points of appearance, dress and manner. His gaze rested broodingly on the tall, muscular form of Gervase, and he noted the symmetry and supple grace of the man with an irritation of which he was ashamed. He knew, despite his own undeniably handsome personality, which was set off to such advantage that night by the richness of ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... classical allusion) luscious and glowing as a dewy rose. Her creamy skin is as fair and flawless as the inner petals of a white lily. (She may have a weeny teeny freckle or two in summer, but you'd never notice.) Her slender form is matchless in its symmetry and her voice is like the ripple of ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... and chance auditory, whether in a street or a theatre,—secondly, the small size of a modern audience, even in Drury Lane, (4500 at the most,) not by one eightieth part the complement of the Circus Maximus,—most of all, when we consider the want of symmetry or commensurateness, to any extended duration of time, in the acts of such an audience, which acts lie in the vanishing expressions of its vanishing emotions,—acts so essentially fugitive, even when organized into an art and a tactical system of imbrices ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... man appeared to be about thirty. His countenance bore a look of boldness and dissipation, but was not without a symmetry of feature and the fine lines drawn by a taste and indulgence in humor that gave the redeeming touch. There was an odor of spilled wine about ...
— Rolling Stones • O. Henry

... was still young enough to deal in superlatives, for there had been other fine days that Summer; moreover, in likening himself to a pig, he was ridiculously unfair to six feet of athletic symmetry in which it would be difficult to detect any marked resemblance to the animal whose name is a synonym ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... sunk in thought. He looked at her profile, at her drooping lashes, at her hands lying on her knees; and in his pagan head the idea began to hatch with difficulty that at the side of naked beauty, confident, and proud of Greek and Roman symmetry, there is another in the world, new, immensely pure, in which ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... swan, floating, as it were, in the pure empyrean, and crowned with a diadem of stars. The Moon, Arcturus, and the Pleiades might well all make obeisance to her, and the Milky Way invite her to extend her flight and plough its snowy fields. I was astonished at her size, the symmetry of her parts, and the harmony of her proportions, as she lay there at a great height, which I was quite unable to estimate, in bold relief against ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... embellishment of legend, much less of occultism. It proceeds from first to last upon the assurance that all that we need to do is to remove the scaffolding from the historic temple of Masonry and let it stand out in the sunlight, where all men can see its beauty and symmetry, and that it will command the respect of the most critical and searching intellects, as well as the homage of all who love mankind. By this faith the long study has been guided; in this ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... or less to her satisfaction, she had restored the symmetry of the little curled and crimped head, she took her face between her hands, and stared at her own reflection. Memories of the party she had just left, of the hot river, the slowly filling locks, the revelry, ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... no attention has been paid, even in Europe, to historical sequence and special motives in the arrangement of galleries. As in the Pitti Gallery, pictures were generally hung so as to conform to the symmetry of the rooms,—various styles, schools, and epochs being intermixed. As the progress of ideas is of more importance to note than the variations of styles or the degree of technical merit, the chief attention in selection and ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... universe in itself, and the connexion of the world of matter and of spirit. Wolff was a disciple of Leibnitz; great as a teacher rather than an inventor, who invested the system of his master slightly modified, with the precision of form which raised it to rivalry with the perfect symmetry of Spinoza's system. Adopting his master's two great canons of truth, the law of contradiction as regulative of thoughts, and the law of the sufficient reason as regulative of things,(664) he attempted ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... as common, at home?" Stone continued. His critical eyes delighted in the unconscious grace of the girl, as she stood poised above the brawling stream, serene in her physical perfection; and above the delicately modeled symmetry of form was the loveliness of the face, beautiful as a flower, yet strong, with the shining eyes and the red lips, now parted in eagerness. The marshal wondered a little at that eagerness. He wondered still more ...
— Heart of the Blue Ridge • Waldron Baily

... a corner of the tent, sat entertaining him with chat, the cheeriest that might be. When his food was dressed, the Arab's wife brought it to the guest, and he looked at the mistress of the tent and saw a semblance than which no seemlier might be. Indeed, her beauty and loveliness, her symmetry and perfect grace amazed him and he was struck with astonishment, gazing now at her and then at her mate. When his looking grew long, the man said to him, "Ho, thou son of the worthy! Busy thyself with thine own business, for by me and this woman hangeth ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... is the same symmetry of form, though those limbs are rigid which were once so gracefully elastic; but that yellow masque with pinched features, which seems to mock life rather than emulate it, can it be the face that was once so full of lively expression? I will not ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 3 (of 3), 1836-1870 • Charles Dickens

... spring-house—that the weary, sunburnt, and disheartened fisherman, out from the dusty town for a day of recreation, is often wont to seek its hospitality. The house in style of architecture is something of a departure from the typical farmhouse, being designed and fashioned with no regard to symmetry or proportion, but rather, as is suggested, built to conform to the matter-of-fact and most sensible ideas of its owner, who, if it pleased him, would have small windows where large ones ought to be, and vice versa, whether they balanced properly to the ...
— Short Stories for English Courses • Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.)

... composed of "burnt cork, pulverised and mixed with porter." Legs coming before the foot-lights must of course be improved by mechanical means, when nature has been unkind, or time has destroyed symmetry; but art has probably discovered a better method of concealing deficiencies than consists in the employment of "ragged silken hose." The veteran light comedian, Lewis, who at a very advanced age appeared ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... seem so when he got it in the paper. He had not slept well; he was excited by several things; by the use Ricker had made of his work, and by the hopes of advancement which this use quickened in him. He was not ashamed of it; he was very proud of it; and he wondered at its symmetry and force, as he read and read ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... usual expedient is that of introducing a main central form, with others branching out on either side and symmetrically balancing each other. An example of this is given in fig. 16. The symmetry may be much more free than this; a tree is symmetrical taken as a whole, but the two sides do not ...
— Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving • Grace Christie

... stained the long flanks. The horse had been running. His mane and tail were laced and knotted to keep their length out of reach of grasping cactus and brush. Clumsy home-made leather shields covered the front of his forelegs and ran up well to his wide breast. What otherwise would have been muscular symmetry of limb was marred by many a scar and many a lump. He was lean, gaunt, worn, a huge machine of muscle and bone, beautiful only in head and mane, a weight-carrier, a horse strong and fierce like the desert ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... symmetry. If it had been workable moreover for a fortnight she'd have gone. She's ready"—he followed up his ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... him of all the buoyant manhood that was his. Keeko had gone. Keeko. Keeko with her wonderful eyes, and the grace and symmetry of a youthful goddess. Yes, she had gone, and between them now lay that long winter night with all its manifold chances of disaster. With the break of spring he might look for her coming again. Yes, he might look for it. But would she come? He wondered. And again and again ...
— The Heart of Unaga • Ridgwell Cullum

... respect faultless. It is not free from literary, typographical, and other defects. Nature herself, where no one can deny the finger of God, has imperfections. The Book presents the same characteristics as the best and highest of God's other gifts, namely, not the outward symmetry of a finite and mechanical perfection, but the inward, elastic, and reproductive power of ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... might never have returned to our native land; but your presence would have made this new country,—this young Hercules of lands,—this land full of sinews, bones and muscle, not yet clothed with rounded symmetry of outward form, but fresh and strong and teeming with promise, a true home to us. Its vast, ever-growing mind would have given new expansion to our own mental faculties. We should have grown spiritually, and reached nobler heights together. ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... minded Frenchman, Eugene Fromentin, himself an admirable painter, to pick this canvas full of flaws. The composition is, true enough, troubled and confused. The draughtsmanship leaves much to be desired; hands are carelessly painted, the grouping haphazard, without symmetry, the general rhythm full of syncopations, cross accents, and perverse pauses—empty spaces, transitions not accounted for. And yet this painting without personal charm—it is almost impersonal—grips your soul. It is ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... the heels. Captain de Haldimar probably thought otherwise; for when he had passed his unwilling hand over the foot of Oucanasta, which, whatever her face might have been, was certainly any thing but delicate, and encountered numerous ragged excrescences and raspy callosities that set all symmetry at defiance, a wonderful revolution came over his feelings; and, secretly determining the mocassins would be equally well placed on his own feet, he no longer offered ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... manifold relations and so producing the dramas of earth; each story plays its part in this general aim, illustrating the social laws and reactions, even as the human beings themselves play their parts in the world. In this way Balzac's Human Comedy is an organism, however much it may fall short of symmetry and completion. ...
— Masters of the English Novel - A Study Of Principles And Personalities • Richard Burton

... would make any of their description or movement incongruous to any other part. Of course we shall expect to find in them the enlargement or exaggeration of poetic license. But so doing we must recall the characteristics of their great author, who with all exaggeration preserves harmony and symmetry of parts, and harmony and correspondence in all settings and surroundings. With such views of what is fair and helpful in interpretation, I propose to proceed to a closer view of the first one hundred and fifty-two of what are known as ...
— Testimony of the Sonnets as to the Authorship of the Shakespearean Plays and Poems • Jesse Johnson

... octagonal turret which juts from the centre of the main building exactly opposite the entrance from the Rue aux Juifs. Within this turret is the lovely little circular chamber which was reserved for the King's own use. Its beautiful proportions break the symmetry of the long front wall, yet are clasped to the building by the cornice whence the line of gargoyles spring; and in the same way the long and steep rise of the roof is broken up by the crests above each window that rise into the air in a pinnacled ...
— The Story of Rouen • Sir Theodore Andrea Cook

... back into the remembrance of Ling certain obscure and little-understood facts connected with the limitless wealth possessed by the Yellow Emperor—of which the great gold life-like image in the Temple of Internal Symmetry at Peking alone bears witness now—and of his lost secret. Many very forcible prophecies and omens in his own earlier life, of which the rendering and accomplishment had hitherto seemed to be dark and incomplete, passed before him, and various matters which Mian had related to him ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... a marble block, is given to all, A blank, inchoate mass of years and days, Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays Some shape of strength or symmetry to call; One shatters it in bits to mend a wall; One in a craftier hand the chisel lays, And one, to wake the mirth in Lesbia's gaze, Carves it apace ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... true-blue-slightly- imbricated-with-red-flag coalition rose whose deep globular head with ornate decorative calyx retains its perfect exhibition-cross-question- hostile-amendment symmetry of form without blueing or burning in the hottest Westminster sun. Its smiling peach and cerise endearments terminating in black scarlet shell-shaped waxy Berlin ultimata are carried on an admirably rigid peduncle. Equally vigorous ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 4th, 1920 • Various

... whole as lying at the foundation both of politics and of art, in the latter supplying the only principle of criticism, which, under the various names of harmony, symmetry, measure, proportion, unity, the Greek seems to have applied to works ...
— The Republic • Plato

... removal of the article before the word "louder", or by the poetical contraction of "sympathy" into "symp'thy". The third line of the fourth stanza possesses only four feet. This may be an intentional shortening to give rhetorical effect, yet it mars none the less the symmetry of ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... means for a complete physical development be organized, and announced as an integral part of our system of education, and parents would be filled with grateful satisfaction. The people are ready and waiting. No want is so universal, none so deeply felt. But how shall symmetry and vigor be reached? What are the means? Where is the school? During the heat of the summer our city-girls go into the country, perhaps to the mountains: this is good. When in town, they skate or walk or visit the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... on golden plates, his songs rising from every fishing-bark at nightfall,—and wistfully contrasts the vast range of delights which as an artist he imagines, with the limited pleasures which as a man he enjoys. The magnificent symmetry, the rounded completeness of his life, suffer a serious deduction here, and his Greek sense of harmony suffers offence as well as his human hunger for joy. He is a thorough realist, and finds no satisfaction in contemplating what he may not possess. Art itself ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... the plains are the regions where people dwell in greatest numbers. The plains in the two great land masses of the Old World and the New have the same inverse or right- and left-handed symmetry as the mountains. In the north the vast stretches from the Mackenzie River to the Gulf of Mexico correspond to the plains of Siberia and Russia from the Lena to the Black Sea. Both regions have a vast sweep of monotonous ...
— The Red Man's Continent - A Chronicle of Aboriginal America, Volume 1 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Ellsworth Huntington

... though of alpine origin, it thrives in lower, I may say the lowest, situations even in our wet climate. As will be seen by the illustration (Fig. 88), it belongs to the rosette section, and may indeed be said, for size and symmetry, to head the list. There are many forms of it, differing more or less in shape of leaves, colour, habit, and size of rosette. The original or reputed type is but an indifferent form compared with the one now generally accepted as the representative of the species. ...
— Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers - Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, - Rockeries, and Shrubberies. • John Wood

... form, and it is not too much to say that nothing could be added to render more perfect the illusion. The whole pose—her aspect, the contour of her head, the exquisite turn of the stately throat, the faultless symmetry of shoulder and arms—everything is in keeping with the realization of the most perfect, most beautiful, and most illusive figure that has ever been witnessed on the stage. Miss Anderson indeed is liberally endowed with physical charms, so fascinating that we can ...
— Mary Anderson • J. M. Farrar

... of the Church was no longer purely Catholic. Of that glorious structure of medieval-Christian civilization with its mystic foundation, its strict hierarchic construction, its splendidly fitting symmetry he saw hardly anything but its load of outward details and ornament. Instead of the world which Thomas Aquinas and Dante had described, according to their vision, Erasmus saw another world, full of charm and elevated ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... me, Hylas, when you behold the picture of Julius Caesar, do you see with your eyes any more than some colours and figures, with a certain symmetry ...
— Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous in Opposition to Sceptics and Atheists • George Berkeley

... method or System, their work can hardly pretend; and yet they have a system,—which has only not been rounded into symmetry, by the singular circumstance that these seven writers "have written in entire independence of one another, and without concert or comparison." They avow a common purpose, however; for they "hope" that their joint labours "will be received as an attempt to illustrate," (whatever that ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... a passion with me. I love their aromatic odors, reminding one of balm and frankincense, and the great Temple of Solomon itself, built of fine cedar-wood. I admire their stately symmetry, and the majesty of their unchanging presence, and stand well pleased and invigorated ...
— Sea and Shore - A Sequel to "Miriam's Memoirs" • Mrs. Catharine A. Warfield

... the spot two suits of mourning—one for Rob the Grinder, which was immensely too small, and one for himself, which was immensely too large. He also provided Rob with a species of hat, greatly to be admired for its symmetry and usefulness, as well as for a happy blending of the mariner with the coal-heaver; which is usually termed a sou'wester; and which was something of a novelty in connexion with the instrument business. In their several garments, which the vendor declared to be such a miracle in point of ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... The symmetry of the craft was marred by a huge projection on one side that could not be explained by the pattern of any known type of ...
— Astounding Stories, May, 1931 • Various

... and well polish'd Strains Virgilian Addison describes Campaigns. Whose Verse, like a proportion'd Man, we find, Not of the Gyant, nor the Pygmy kind. Such Symmetry appears o'er all the Song, Lofty with justness, and ...
— Discourse on Criticism and of Poetry (1707) - From Poems On Several Occasions (1707) • Samuel Cobb

... opposite an old lady who had the remains of striking beauty. I remember how much she interested me. Her hair was false, her teeth were false, her complexion was shrivelled, her form had lost the round symmetry of earlier years, and was angular and stiff; yet how cheerful and lively she was! She had gone far down-hill physically; but either she did not feel her decadence, or she had grown quite reconciled to it. Her daughter, a blooming matron, was there, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 43, May, 1861 • Various

... expanding, as it descends. The apparent expansion, however, in the Old Red specimen may be simply a result of compression in its upper part: the under part certainly much resembles, in the dome-like symmetry of its outline, the radical termination of a ...
— The Testimony of the Rocks - or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed • Hugh Miller

... both, and the details are largely filled out in the anthropoid apes, the convolutions being all present and the pattern of arrangement the same. The brain of the orang may be said to be like that of man in all respects except size and the greater symmetry of its convolutions, which are less complicated with minor convolutions than in man. In truth, the difference between the brains of man and the orang is almost insignificant as compared with the ...
— Man And His Ancestor - A Study In Evolution • Charles Morris

... forms of criminality and vice are so diverse that a different expression results from the different kinds of thought passing through their minds. In their theories, few people acknowledge that the symmetry of the facial features may change, and yet it is a matter of common observance that they do. In the cases of persons becoming insane or persons who have suffered from long and painful illnesses it is very remarkable. Likewise in the case of the man who has ...
— A Plea for the Criminal • James Leslie Allan Kayll

... Nikolay Levin, with an ironical smile, his eyes flashing malignantly, "has the charm of—what's one to call it?—geometrical symmetry, of clearness, of definiteness. It may be a Utopia. But if once one allows the possibility of making of all the past a tabula rasa—no property, no family— then labor would organize itself. ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... proposition: "Man is the measure of all things,—of the possible, how it is,—of the impossible, how it is not." In the individual life are laid the foundations of the universe, and upon each individual artist depend the symmetry and meaning of the constructed whole. This Master-Artist it is who holds the keys of life and death; and whatsoever he shall bind or loose in his consciousness shall be bound or loosed throughout the universe. Apart from him, Nature is resolved ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859 • Various

... quite beyond any practical manifestation of it; or it may be that talents in themselves remarkable are cast into the shade by some exceptional brilliancy of position. The success of life is measured by the harmony between its ideals and its attainments. It is the symmetry of the temple that gives the final word, not the breadth of its foundations nor the wealth of ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... realms of Neptune, stands the Adirondack Lodge, probably one of the most quaint, picturesque little hotels in the world. It is tastefully built in the style of a rustic log-hut, its timber being merely rough-hewn by the axe and not reduced to monotonous symmetry by the saw-mill. It is roofed with bark, and its wide-eaved verandas are borne by tree-trunks with the bark still on. The same idea is carried out in the internal equipment, and the bark is left intact on much of the furniture. The wood retains its natural colours, and there are no carpets ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... of straw, or mud, or of canvas. The wooden houses of the more illustrious Huns were built and adorned with rude magnificence, according to the rank, the fortune, or the taste of the proprietors. They seemed to have been distributed with some degree of order and symmetry; and each spot became more honorable as it approached the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... and of look, the smooth And swimming majesty of step and tread, The symmetry of form and feature, set The soul afloat, even like delicious ...
— The Woman Beautiful - or, The Art of Beauty Culture • Helen Follett Stevans

... visitor's best silk hat. Twice it had turned a somersault in the air, and twice safely alighted well down over Dicky's ears, but a third time it might miss even such a conspicuous mark and be smashed out of symmetry on the hard floor. French beat a hasty retreat, but he was no match for Dicky in change of tactics; as he came into the hall that young gentleman stood stiffly and solemnly waiting to hand him his hat and open the front door ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... meanest of the rest look down upon for all his glimmering language and spirituality," he wished the world to find in him fitness for survival, conformity with civilization's ideal, example of the world philosophy of forbearance, human relationships, symmetry and poise in adaptation to the world's tasks, and moderation in respect of the higher laws, whose harmonies order and rectify ...
— Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights • Kelly Miller

... of no other way of remedying the thoughtlessness of the fowl then by covering the unseemly patch with a plate in which she put the fine fruits taken at random from her pocket, losing sight altogether of the symmetry of the table. Then, in order that no one should notice it, she instantly fetched the soup, seated every one in his place, and begged them ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... of a pinewood on to a peering screen of new-born leaves, pale-faced and trembling. After a moment's rest, they turned southward to where the lean brown road went paving a deep corridor, straight, silent, its black walls towering. Distance and gloom lent these a grim symmetry, suggestive of duress; above, a grey ribbon of sky issued a stony comfort, such as prisoners use.... With a shiver, Every turned away his head. To the north the ground fell sharply, and the cut of the road vouchsafed a glimpse of what it led to—woods, woods, woods, swelling, rising, tumbling, ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... forerunner of athletic power in boys just bursting into manhood; for he was already as conspicuous for the thinness of his flanks, and the shapely hollow of his back, as for the depth and roundness of his chest, the breadth of his shoulders, and the symmetry of his limbs. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 1 July 1848 • Various

... gorse-covered heaths prevailing. The more sheltered nooks in the bay contained a few fishermen's cottages, pitched here and there wherever the ground favoured their erection, with very little regard to symmetry or order. Nearer to the water were boat-sheds, and stakes, and spars, on which nets were spread to dry or to ...
— Washed Ashore - The Tower of Stormount Bay • W.H.G. Kingston

... cannot raise my eyes—they cannot bear The beams of his, which, like the sun's, I feel Are on me, though I see them not enlightening The heaven of his young face; nor dare I scan The brightness of his form, which symmetry And youth and beauty in enriching vie. He kneels to me! Now grows my breathing thick, As though I did await a seraph's voice, Too rich for ...
— The Love-Chase • James Sheridan Knowles

... corner. The spandrels of the top are decorated with carved symbolic subjects, leaves and flowers on two sides, and on the other two doves drinking from vases out of which issue crosses, typifying baptism, it is said. It is rather curious that the artist has disregarded the usual symmetry, and filled his spaces without reference to the corresponding ones. On the north and east faces of the font are three circular medallions with symbolic doves and salamanders. On the south and west are scenes from the life of S. Nicholas of Myra, as was fully demonstrated by Milner; ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Winchester - A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See • Philip Walsingham Sergeant

... fossils, very closely related to, but not identical with, those found in the Silurian formations of Europe; the hills are formed of white granular quartz rock. The strata of the latter are frequently arched with perfect symmetry, and the appearance of some of the masses is in consequence most singular. Pernety [8] has devoted several pages to the description of a Hill of Ruins, the successive strata of which he has justly compared to the seats of an amphitheatre. The quartz rock must have been quite ...
— The Voyage of the Beagle • Charles Darwin

... defects were, he was well aware, more than atoned for by the peculiar dignity of his countenance. If his legs were short, his face was not; if there was any undue preponderance below the waistcoat, all was in due symmetry above the necktie. His hair was grey, not grizzled nor white, but properly grey; and stood up straight from off his temples on each side with an unbending determination of purpose. His whiskers, which were of an admirable shape, coming down and turning gracefully at the angle of his jaw, were grey ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... young figure revealed an unsuspected loveliness where the snowy symmetry of neck and shoulders and arms was delicately accented by the filmy black of ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... human faculties directed by his professional sagacity to the pursuit, apprehension, and exhibition of that ideal harmony which he feels to be the root of all knowledge, the fountain of all pleasure, and the condition of all action. The mathematician has, above all things, an eye for symmetry; and Professor Sylvester has not only recognized the symmetry formed by the combination of his own subject with those of the former Presidents, but has pointed out the duties of his successor in the ...
— Five of Maxwell's Papers • James Clerk Maxwell

... eccentric orbs to the obedience of a system. She hath caught the swift-flying light and divided its rays; she hath marshalled the emanations of the sun under their different-hued banners, given symmetry and order to the glare of day, explained the dark eternal laws of the Forest-god, and showed herself always acquainted ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... tiger, burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... He contrasted those representations without beauty or grace, so mean, and mournful, and spiritless, or if endued with attributes of power, more menacing than majestic, and morose rather than sublime, with those shapes of symmetry, those visages of immortal beauty, serene yet full of sentiment, on which he had gazed that morning with a holy rapture. The Queen had said that, besides Mount Sinai and Mount Calvary, there was also Mount Olympus. It was true; even Tancred ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... they bring order into what at first seems the chaos of our surroundings, but in that they are themselves beautiful in their spaciousness and their simplicity. We cannot pause here to consider the physiological facts which make us admire symmetry, but it is fundamental in our appreciation of music, poetry, and the plastic arts. From the sciences, likewise, we derive the satisfaction of symmetry on a magnificent scale. There is beauty as of a great symphony in the sweep and movement of the ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... struck with awe at the evident symmetry and beauty that had once reigned within, for though time had accumulated mould and moss over its walls, and covered its floors to a depth of several inches with earth made up of dust and leaves that had penetrated its open doors and windows; yet the walls ...
— The American Family Robinson - or, The Adventures of a Family lost in the Great Desert of the West • D. W. Belisle

... here unite under one heading two animals of very diverse nature and race, but which from some gross resemblances, probably helped by an equivoque in the language, are closely affiliated in the Hindoo myth {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} a reddish colour of the skin, want of symmetry and ungainliness of form, strength in hugging with the fore paws or arms, the faculty of climbing, shortness of tail(?), sensuality, capacity of instruction in dancing and in music, are all characteristics which more or less ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... not be appeased. She was a beautiful creature for a native, and was to have been married about the very time that she was now to be sacrificed. I see her now—she was dark in complexion, as they all are, but her features were beautifully small and regular, and her form was perfect symmetry. They took off the gold ornaments with which she was decorated, and, in their avarice, removed her garments, as she implored and entreated on her knees in vain. The boat that she was in was closer to the shore than the others, and in shallow water. They forced her ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... Romance of the Sea, by Joseph Parks, is more replete with nautical verisimilitude than with literary force. As compared with many of Mr. Parks' other tales, its plot is distinctly weak and lacking in symmetry. We must, however, praise the generally salty atmosphere. The picture of seafaring life is vivid ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... passed the haft from hand to hand. Most of the loungers could do a good deal with the ax themselves, and the lean, muscular demonstrator made rather a striking figure as he stood poised in statuesque symmetry under the lamplight with the bright steel flashing ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... fitted to pin down the bull, for man's brutal sport? But if we give up the principle in one case; if we do not admit that the variations of the primeval dog were intentionally guided in order, for instance, that the greyhound, that perfect image of symmetry and vigor, might be formed; no shadow of reason can be assigned for the belief that variations, alike in nature and the results of the same general laws, which have been the groundwork through natural selection of the most perfectly adapted animals in the world, man included, ...
— What is Darwinism? • Charles Hodge

... green and ample till the trees Met on its margin; and the Hudson's tide Rolled beautiful beyond, where purple gleams Fell on the Palisades or touched the hills Of the opposing shore; for all without Was but an emblem of the symmetry I found within, where love held perfect sway, With taste and beauty and domestic peace ...
— The Woman Who Dared • Epes Sargent

... forming small windows; and of a sudden by fine thin silks lightly overshadowing (the fretwork) just as if there were, after all, secret doors. The whole walls were in addition traced, with no regard to symmetry, with outlines of the shapes of curios and nick-nacks in imitation of lutes, double-edged swords, hanging bottles and the like, the whole number of which, though (apparently) suspended on the walls, were all however on a ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... you are struck by the general contrast between these heads. Both are massive enough in all conscience; but there is a certain mathematical symmetry in the Sperm Whale's which the Right Whale's sadly lacks. There is more character in the Sperm Whale's head. As you behold it, you involuntarily yield the immense superiority to him, in point of pervading dignity. In the present instance, too, this dignity is heightened by the ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... of Independence, and by the establishment of free representative governments; governments borrowing more or less from the models of other free states, but strengthened, secured, improved in their symmetry, and deepened in their foundation, by those great men of our own country whose names will be as familiar to future times as if they were written on the arch ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... full and complete. But they would not excuse me and they all cried, 'Verily, thou deserves splitting or quartering;[FN143] thou who wouldst abandon this beauty and perfection and brilliancy and stature and symmetry and wouldst throw thyself upon a slave-girl black as char-coal; thou who wouldst leave this semblance which is like the splendours of moonlight and wouldst follow yon fulsome figure which resembleth the murks of night.' Hereupon, O Prince ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... which ornamented her head, and which scarcely equalled the brilliancy and animated color of her complexion. She looked frequently at Cinq-Mars; but it was rather the look of coquetry than that of love, and her eyes often glanced toward the mirror on the toilette, in which she watched the symmetry of her beauty. These observations of the counsellor began to persuade him that he was mistaken in suspecting her to be the aim of Cinq-Mars, especially when he saw that she seemed to have a pleasure in sitting at the Queen's side, ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... much oftener the expression of merely ignorant whim, or still more empty academic knowledge,—a waste of uncultivated, unpruned brushwood, with here and there a solitary tree towering into unapproachable and inexplicable symmetry and beauty. Hogarth, Gainsborough, and Turner are great names in Art-history; but to deduce their development from the English culture of Art, one must use the same processes as in proving Cromwell to have been called up by the loyalty of Englishmen. They towered the higher from ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... longer know what a foot is. That of Nyssia was of a perfection rare even in Greece and antique Asia. The great toe, a little apart like the thumb of a bird, the other toes, slightly long, and all ranged in charming symmetry, the nails well shaped and brilliant as agates, the ankles well rounded and supple, the heel slightly tinted with a rosy hue—nothing was wanting to the perfection of the little member. The leg attached to this foot, and which gleamed ...
— King Candaules • Theophile Gautier

... owned, that upon the whole, London is neither so handsomely nor so well built as Berlin is; but then it certainly has far more fine squares. Of these there are many that in real magnificence and beautiful symmetry far surpass our Gens d'Armes Markt, our Denhoschen and William's Place. The squares or quadrangular places contain the best and most beautiful buildings of London; a spacious street, next to the houses, goes all round them, and within that there is generally a round ...
— Travels in England in 1782 • Charles P. Moritz

... fragment of the palace is the Banqueting-House of Inigo Jones, from which Charles I. passed to execution. Built in the dawn of the style of Wren, it is one of the most grandiose examples of that style, and is perfect alike in symmetry and proportion. That it has no entrance apparent at first sight is due to the fact that it was only intended as a portion of a larger building. In the same way we must remember that the appearance of two stories externally, while the ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume I. - Great Britain and Ireland • Various

... a racial physiology. He tends to size, to smooth symmetry of limb and trunk, to an erect, free carriage; and the beauty of his women is not a myth. The pioneers were all men of good body, they had to be to live and leave descendants. The bones of the weaklings who started for El Dorado in 1849 lie on the plains or in the hill-cemeteries of ...
— The City That Was - A Requiem of Old San Francisco • Will Irwin

... Protagoras investigated the principles of accurate composition; Prodicus busied himself with inquiries into the significance of words; Gorgias, like Voltaire, gloried in a captivating style, and gave symmetry to the ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... constant moral support, like that of the unobserved but all-sustaining pressure of the atmosphere, from the soothing and restraining influence of systematic habits of monotonous regularity. Amid infinite anguish and errors, existence may preserve a species of outward symmetry and harmony from this strong band of minute observance keeping down and assisting the mind to master elements of moral and mental discord and disorder, for the due control of which the daily and hourly subjection ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... cardboard, or a smooth metal plate; and then cutting out the curve so produced, and employing it as a pattern or "template," to enable copies to be traced from it. When placed at equal distances, and at equal angles on each side of a central line, so as to secure perfect symmetry of form according to the nature of the required design, the beauty of these "instantaneous" curves, as I term them, arises from the entire absence of any sudden variation in their course. This is due to the momentum of the hand when "switching" the pencil at a high velocity ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... an action. Standing on that stone floor where princes and warriors had stood through eight hundred years of the history of France, I have seen looking up at the incomparable nave with its majestic symmetry, French poilus in their faded blue, helmets in hand and perhaps the white of a bandage showing, spruce generals who had a few hours away from their commands, dust-laden dispatch riders, boyish officers with the bit of blue ribbon that they had won for bravery ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... one is led almost instinctively to believe that it was used as a plummet, for the purpose of determining the perpendicular to the horizon [for building purposes?]; . . . when we consider its symmetry of form, the contrast of colors brought out by the process of grinding and polishing, and the delicate drilling of the hole through a material (syenite) so liable to fracture, we are free to say it affords an exhibition of the lapidary's skill superior to anything yet furnished ...
— Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel • Ignatius Donnelly

... her to be pretty, but now he admired the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. He began to wish to know more of ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... an idle, floating spirit can ever look up with clear eye to God; spreading its miserable anarchy before the symmetry of the creative Mind; in the midst of a disorderly being, that has neither centre nor circumference, kneeling beneath the glorious sky, that everywhere has both; and for a life that is all failure, turning to the Lord of the ...
— Daily Strength for Daily Needs • Mary W. Tileston

... in some sort first, since it has been taken for the imperial insignia, comes the chrysanthemum. The symmetry of its shape well fits it to symbolize the completeness of perfection which the Mikado, the son of heaven, mundanely represents. It typifies, too, the fullness of the year; for it marks, as it were, the golden wedding of the spring, the reminiscence in ...
— The Soul of the Far East • Percival Lowell

... charming an object always inspires. The princess was the most beautiful brunette in the world; her eyes were large, lively, and sparkling; her looks sweet and modest; her nose was of a just proportion and without a fault, her mouth small, her lips of a vermilion red and charmingly agreeable symmetry; in a word, all the features of her face were perfectly regular. It is not therefore surprising that Alla ad Deen, who had never before seen such a blaze of charms, was dazzled, and his senses ravished by such an assemblage. With all these perfections the princess had so ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... of the Falls, beneath an aged pine, reclined a well- guarded, sorrowful, but haughty band. Their fine symmetry, noble height, and free carriage, were especially attractive. They were all young warriors, whose white paint presented emblems of peace: their plumes were from the beautiful white crane of the sunny forest, which designated the southern land ...
— Birch Bark Legends of Niagara • Owahyah

... seemed to have a strong objection to being led, and who held back and dragged at his rein in a most provoking manner; and lastly, by the side of a brown hack that I fancied I had seen before, a beautiful black horse, the very impersonation of strength, symmetry, courage, speed, and all ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... As to myself, I love lords, and shun them. I lived with one; the beauty of my recollections suffices me. I remember his country house, like a glory in a cloud. My dreams are all retrospective. Nothing could be more admirable than Marmaduke Lodge in grandeur, beautiful symmetry, rich avenues, and the ornaments and surroundings of the edifice. The houses, country seats, and palaces of the lords present a selection of all that is greatest and most magnificent in this flourishing kingdom. I love our lords. I thank them for being opulent, powerful, and prosperous. ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... Browning's most perfect work, and here, more perhaps than in anything he ever wrote, he wrote to please himself. As a whole, he has never written anything to equal it in artistic symmetry; while a single scene, that between Ottima and Sebald, reaches the highest level of tragic utterance which he has ever attained. The plan of the work, in which there are elements of the play and elements of the masque, is a wholly original ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... to vindicate his cause. His personal appearance at this early period is thus described by Mr William Laidlaw:—"About nineteen years of age, Hogg was rather above the middle height, of faultless symmetry of form; he was of almost unequalled agility and swiftness. His face was then round and full, and of a ruddy complexion, with bright blue eyes that beamed with gaiety, glee, and good-humour, the effect of the most exuberant animal spirits. His head was covered with a ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume II. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... are of an academic elegance reminiscent of Raphael. He knew well how to accomplish the flow of line, the balance of masses, the symmetry of outline, which produce a harmonious effect. A variety of designs were at his command, from the well-worn but always effective pyramidal form illustrated in many single figures, to those more ...
— Sir Joshua Reynolds - A Collection of Fifteen Pictures and a Portrait of the - Painter with Introduction and Interpretation • Estelle M. Hurll

... blur of light upon the retina is sufficient to destroy the definition of the retinal image of the carbons. A long list of indictments might indeed be brought against the eye—its opacity, its want of symmetry, its lack of achromatism, its partial blindness. All these taken together caused Helmholt to say that, if any optician sent him an instrument so defective, he would be justified in sending it back with the severest censure. ...
— Six Lectures on Light - Delivered In The United States In 1872-1873 • John Tyndall

... magnitude of their work can never be measured. Their building is imperishable. Familiarity with these manuals of doctrine will deepen, broaden, strengthen, and exalt the human mind. Herein the truth of Christ appears in the symmetry, significance, magnitude, and omnipotence of a complete system. One truth may take us to heaven, but the system of truth treasured up in the heart, will bring heaven to us. Let ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... mansion he inhabits was built by one of the ancient race called the T'noohh, who flourished there from the 10th to the 17th century, and artists had been brought for the purpose from Constantinople; the symmetry of the masonry is admirable, and consequently the shadows formed from it are particularly straight and sharp ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... of metates, or corn-stones, of a shape not now usual in the neighborhood were exhibited. Some of these were quite graceful, having several feet and highly ornamented. The vases of pottery were occasionally noteworthy for their symmetry and beauty, as that shown ...
— The Battle and the Ruins of Cintla • Daniel G. Brinton

... meaning will be found upon examination to incorporate an intricate pattern of tastefully selected letters. Thus it is with the following sentence of Sir Thomas Browne's, wherein it is difficult to decide whether the rhythm or the literation contributes the larger share to its symmetry of sound:—"But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity." Thus it is, again, with this sentence from Ruskin's "Seven Lamps of Architecture":—"They are but ...
— A Manual of the Art of Fiction • Clayton Hamilton

... itself supplied us with the means; we had only to use its own renovating principles. Its fabric was not, as some supposed, that of a Grecian temple, perfect and complete in all its parts, which could not suffer alteration without the destruction of its symmetry; it was rather like a Gothic building, susceptible of enlargement, consistently with the integrity of its ornaments and the security of its duration. The views on which this bill was founded were repeated and enforced ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... of self-possession as to action and conduct.' After describing her sufferings from nervous susceptibility and mental depression, she continues: 'But the hand that writes this has lost nothing of the contour of health or the symmetry of youth. I am in possession of all the fame I ever hoped or ambitioned. I wear not the appearance of twenty years; I am now, as I generally am, sad ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston



Words linked to "Symmetry" :   correspondence, symmetrize, disproportion, bilateralism, isotropy, equilibrium, math, symmetrise, radial symmetry, property, space-reflection symmetry, mirror symmetry, symmetricalness, anisotropy, proportion



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