Dichotomy meaning

dī-kŏtə-mē
Frequency:
Such a division involving apparently incompatible or opposite principles; a duality.
noun
37
3
Dichotomy is defined as a sharp division of things or ideas into two contradictory parts.

An example of dichotomy is grouping mammals by those that live on land and those that live in water.

noun
29
6
A separation or division into two; a distinction that results in such a division.
noun
18
3
A division into two contrasting things or parts.
noun
16
1
Branching characterized by successive forking into two approximately equal divisions.
noun
16
7
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Division into two parts, groups, or classes, esp. when these are sharply distinguished or opposed.
noun
12
2
A dividing or branching into two equal parts, esp. when repeated.
noun
7
0
The appearance of the moon or of a planet when half of the surface facing the earth is illuminated.
noun
7
2
(biology, taxonomy) The division of a genus into two species; a division into two subordinate parts.
noun
6
1
The phase of the moon, Mercury, or Venus when half of the disk is illuminated.
noun
5
1
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(logic) The division of a class into two disjoint subclasses that are together comprehensive, as the division of man into white and not white.
noun
5
2
(astronomy) A phase of the moon when it appears half lit and half dark, as at the quadratures.
noun
4
0
(biology) Successive division and subdivision; successive bifurcation, as of a stem of a plant or a vein of the body into two parts as it proceeds from its origin.
noun
4
0
(biology) A fork (bifurcation) in a stem or vein.
noun
2
0

Origin of dichotomy

  • Greek dikhotomiā from dikhotomos divided in two dikho- dicho- temnein to cut tem- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek διχότομος (dikhotomos, “equally divided, cut in half”).

    From Wiktionary