noun, plural di·chot·o·mies.
division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs.
division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.
Botany. a mode of branching by constant forking, as in some stems, in veins of leaves, etc.
Astronomy. the phase of the moon or of an inferior planet when half of its disk is visible.
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Origin of dichotomy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
noun plural -mies
division into two parts or classifications, esp when they are sharply distinguished or opposedthe dichotomy between eastern and western cultures
logic the division of a class into two mutually exclusive subclassesthe dichotomy of married and single people
botany a simple method of branching by repeated division into two equal parts
the phase of the moon, Venus, or Mercury when half of the disc is visible
Word Origin for dichotomy
C17: from Greek dichotomia; see dicho-, -tomy
Dichotomy should always refer to a division of some kind into two groups. It is sometimes used to refer to a puzzling situation which seems to involve a contradiction, but this use is generally thought to be incorrect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
c.1600, from Greek dichotomia "a cutting in half," from dicha "in two, asunder" (related to dis "twice") + temnein "to cut" (see tome).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper