Body parts like human hands, feet, ears, eyes, etc. exist on either side of the human body's sagittal plane and can therefore be specified with the adjectives left and right. Is there a special adjective I can use to describe body parts like this that a creature has a left and a right one of? Sentence with desired usage: Hands, feet, eyes, and ears are all ____ body parts.

I need this adjective to not apply to body parts like noses, stomachs, lips, lymph nodes, etc. that a creature either has one of, has more than two of, or has precisely two of but it wouldn't make sense to call one the left and the other the right (e.g. lips).

I'm specifically looking for an adjective to describe body parts that I could say "this creature has a left ___ and a right ___" for.


I think you are describing bilateral symmetry, structures with two copies, one on the right and one on the left. So to directly answer your question: Hands, feet, eyes, and ears are all bilaterally symmetric body parts.

Noses are a little tricky, because there is only one on the midline, but the nostrils are bilaterally symmetric.

Generally, if you can draw a line in the mid-sagittal plane and there is a copy of each structure on the right and left, it's bilaterally symmetric.

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  • $\begingroup$ The exception for the nose is a dealbreaker for what I'm working on unfortunately. I'm specifically looking for an adjective to describe body parts that I could say "this creature has a left ___ and a right ___" for. $\endgroup$ – janimationd Jan 28 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ The nose is midline, but its parts aren't (left nostril, right nostril). I don't see a problem there. It's not clear what you are looking for, I guess (or why). $\endgroup$ – kmm Jan 29 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ I guess isobilateral can also be used synonymously with bilaterally symmetric. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Jan 29 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ @kmm The problem there is the body part "nose" can't be used in the sentence I specified in my comment: "this creature has a left nose and a right nose". I don't know how to be clearer about what I'm looking for than the information I've already given. I'm architecting some software relating to the human body that could benefit from an interface that describes an object as being able to have a left or right modifier applied to it. $\endgroup$ – janimationd Jan 29 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ A structure can be unpaired but have, within it, left and right parts (nose, heart, etc.). Why do you need this rigid, one size fits all definition? $\endgroup$ – kmm Jan 29 at 17:19

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