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trichotomy

[trih-kot-uh-mee]
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noun, plural tri·chot·o·mies.
  1. division into three parts, classes, categories, etc.
  2. an instance of such a division, as in thought, structure, or object.
  3. the three-part division of human beings into body, spirit, and soul.
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Origin of trichotomy

1600–10; < New Latin trichotomia < Greek trích(a) in three parts + New Latin -tomia -tomy
Related formstrich·o·tom·ic [trik-uh-tom-ik] /ˌtrɪk əˈtɒm ɪk/, tri·chot·o·mous, adjectivetri·chot·o·mous·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for trichotomy

trio, troika, triumvirate, triad, trinity, triplicity, triplet, third, triplicate, trilogy, trichotomy, trivium, ternion, ternary, tripartition, triplex

British Dictionary definitions for trichotomy

trichotomy

noun plural -mies
  1. division into three categories
  2. theol the division of man into body, spirit, and soul
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Derived Formstrichotomic (ˌtrɪkəˈtɒmɪk) or trichotomous, adjectivetrichotomously, adverb

Word Origin for trichotomy

C17: probably from New Latin trichotomia, from Greek trikhotomein to divide into three, from trikha triple + temnein to cut
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