Meaning of DICHOTOMY in English


I.  ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷mē, -mi noun

( -es )

Etymology: Greek dichotomia, from dichotomein to cut in half (from dichotomos ) + -ia -y


a. : division into two parts, classes, or groups especially into two groups mutually exclusive or opposed by contradiction

a dichotomy into the good and the evil

b. : division into two : a splitting into two parts or groups : differentiation into two contrasted or sharply opposed groups

dichotomy between practice and theory

a dichotomy between written and spoken evidence

2. : the phase of the moon or an inferior planet in which just half its disk appears illuminated


a. : forking , bifurcation ; especially : repeated bifurcation (as of the stem of a plant or a vein of the body)

b. : a system of branching in which the main axis forks repeatedly into two branches (as in the thallus of the seaweed Dictyota dichotoma and in many liverworts) forming a helicoid axis when the corresponding member of each pair is suppressed or a scorpioid axis when alternate members of adjacent pairs are suppressed — see false dichotomy , sympodium

c. : branching of an ancestral line into two more or less equal diverging branches

4. : fee splitting by doctors

II. noun

: something with seemingly contradictory qualities

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.