Meaning of sinistral in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɪnɪstr(ə)l/


  • 1Of or on the left side or the left hand.

    The opposite of dextral

    • ‘Nevertheless, sinistral and dextral Pb elements are virtually mirror images, that is, they are more alike than the corresponding elements in L. variabilis.’
    left-hand, sinistral, at nine o'clock
    1. 1.1Left-handed.
      • ‘Although sinistral individuals are known in many normally dextral species, left-handedness as a characteristic of species is rare in most gastropod clades.’
    2. 1.2Geology Relating to or denoting a strike-slip fault in which the motion of the block on the opposite side of the fault from an observer is towards the left.
      ‘This paper tentatively identifies two lineaments and a fault that may relate to sinistral strike-slip faulting in the pre-Paradox Formation basement beneath Upheaval Dome.’
      • ‘Although data on vertical displacement on the Klima fault zone are limited, the horizontal component is clearly much larger, and the Klima fault zone represents a sinistral strike-slip fault.’
      • ‘In conclusion, the geological characteristics of the South China Sea cannot be explained by a pull-apart model involving a releasing bend of a sinistral strike-slip fault.’
      • ‘Deposition of the unconformably overlying Red Bay Group was terminated in latest Lochkovian times by renewed sinistral strike-slip faulting.’
      • ‘The temporal distribution of first appearances of sinistral clades as documented by fossils generally differs from that of clades with a labral tooth.’
    3. 1.3Zoology (of a spiral mollusc shell) with whorls rising to the left and coiling in a clockwise direction.
      ‘If the umbilicate side is directed downward and the flat side upward, this gives the impression the shell is sinistral or a left-handed spiral, because the aperture when held toward the observer is on the left.’
      • ‘These gastropods have slender, high-spired, multiwhorled shells bearing a sinistral protoconch and were united by Knight in the family Streptacididae.’
      • ‘The latter species has a smooth, valvatiform, dextrally coiled teleoconch and a sinistral, anastrophic (coaxial heterostrophic) protoconch.’
      • ‘The unusual change in shell coiling from dextral to sinistral during their ontogeny represents a character which makes their recognition in the fossil record easy.’
      • ‘This protoconch is discoidal or almost dicoidal and sinistral.’


  • A left-handed person.

    • ‘Left-handed children, or sinistrals, often have a difficult time in a world geared overwhelmingly to the right-handed.’