Definition of dichotomy in English:


Syllabification: di·chot·o·my
Pronunciation: /dīˈkätəmē

noun (plural dichotomies)

[usually in singular]
  • 1A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different: a rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism
    More example sentences
    • All the dichotomies and polarities can be dissolved and forgiven in that blessed moment of utter peace and tranquility.
    • No doubt Vermeer owed a particular debt to Delft, but it is the great dichotomies of Dutch art generally that nourished his genius.
    • Sheetal is a first generation Indian-American who captures perfectly the dichotomies of growing up Indian in America with her three dimensional portrayals of real women.
    contrast, difference, polarity, conflict; gulf, chasm, division, separation, split
    rare contrariety
  • 1.1 Botany Repeated branching into two equal parts.
    More example sentences
    • At each dichotomy, the presumed ancestral genome size was indicated.


late 16th century: via modern Latin from Greek dikhotomia, from dikho- 'in two, apart' + -tomia (see -tomy).

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