One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Crystallography (now rare, perhaps Obsolete), the axis of rotational symmetry of a crystal system; the line of intersection of two planes of symmetry of a crystal system.
2(More generally) a line representing an axis of symmetry, or the longest linear dimension, in the shape of an object.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Henry Palin Gurney (1847–1904), educationist.
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