[ dahy-kot-uh-mee ]
/ daɪˈkɒt ə mi /
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM dichotomydi·cho·tom·ic [dahy-kuh-tom-ik], /ˌdaɪ kəˈtɒm ɪk/, adjectivedi·cho·tom·i·cal·ly, adverbsub·di·chot·o·my, noun, plural sub·di·chot·o·mies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use dichotomy in a sentence
Patriarchy is powerful, but it is also fragile, and transgender people confound its simple dichotomies.Southern Baptist Convention: Trans People Don’t Exist|Jay Michaelson|June 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mr. MacLeay, himself no great friend to dichotomies in general, is completely led away by this particular one.Sphinx Vespiformis|Edward Newman
British Dictionary definitions for dichotomy
/ (daɪˈkɒtəmɪ) /
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
Derived forms of dichotomydichotomous or dichotomic (ˌdaɪkəʊˈtɒmɪk), adjectivedichotomously, adverb
Word Origin for dichotomy
C17: from Greek dichotomia; see dicho-, -tomy
usage for dichotomy
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