Definition of dextral in English:



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

    The opposite of sinistral
    • ‘It is interesting to speculate why most screw threads are dextral and only a relatively small number are sinistral threads.’
    • ‘Commonly there is a partitioning of sinistral and dextral criteria on alternate horizons, but horizons occur where both senses coexist.’
    • ‘The patient had open fractures of shin bones, dextral pleuropneumonia (mild case), foreign bodies in chest cavity and chest.’
    • ‘Zhang noted that both sinistral and dextral Pa and Pb elements differed entirely.’
    • ‘The preference for dextral threads certainly goes back to the unrecorded past.’
    1. 1.1 Right-handed.
      • ‘Rather, one form of the gene, which we may call D for dextral, may code for right-handedness, while the other allele, which we may call C for chance, leaves the direction of handedness to chance.’
      • ‘The literal-minded dextral dwarfs of the right-wing press are undone somewhat by irony and wit, especially since they believe they are uniquely blessed with a ‘sense of humour’.’
      • ‘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 further side of the fault from an observer is towards the right.
      • ‘In the northern Musgrave Block the Petermann Orogeny generated large-scale east-west-trending shear zones that accommodated dextral strike-slip and north- and south-directed thrusting.’
      • ‘The Murzinka-Adui Metamorphic Complex to the SE of the Salda Complex is separated from the latter by the Petrokamensk Arc and the Sisert dextral strike-slip fault.’
      • ‘In fact, Aleksandrowski et al proposed that the complex was originally contiguous with the Northern Phyllite Zone in Germany and that dextral strike-slip fault movement translated this region southeastward to its present position.’
      • ‘It is commonly assumed that the Stanovoy sinistral shear zone and the Sakhalin-Hokkaido dextral shear zone in NE Asia are two conjugate strike-slip faults related to the India-Eurasia collision.’
      • ‘In this interpretation, the Troodos ophiolite formed to the east (in its current orientation) of a ridge-transform ridge intersection, in which the transform had a dextral offset and sinistral slip.’
    3. 1.3Zoology (of a spiral mollusc shell) with whorls rising to the right and coiling in an anticlockwise direction.
      • ‘Nevertheless, sinistral and dextral Pb elements are virtually mirror images, that is, they are more alike than the corresponding elements in L. variabilis.’
      • ‘So the spiral of the operculum of a dextral (right-handed) snail is invariably counterclockwise, while that of a sinistral shell is the opposite.’
      • ‘Sinistral individuals in normally dextral populations often deviate slightly in shell form from wild-type dextrals, perhaps implying that the left-handed condition has small deleterious side effects.’
      • ‘There are dextral species, sinistral species, and a variable species (P. suturalis-see below) all within the same genus.’
      • ‘In plan view, several specimens show minor changes in the generally linear orientation with either a sinistral or a dextral turn.’


  • A right-handed person.

    • ‘The five superfamilies shown in Figure 2 depict the five kinds of clade found with respect to the occurrence of sinistrals and dextrals: sinistrals only; majority sinistral; very heterogeneous; majority dextral; dextrals only.’


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin dextralis, from Latin dextra ‘the right hand’, from dexter ‘on the right’.