Definition of dichotomy in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʌɪˈkɒtəmi/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈkɒtəmi/

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.
division, separation, divorce, split, gulf, chasm;
difference, contrast, disjunction, polarity, lack of consistency, contradiction, antagonism, conflict
rare contrariety
2 [mass noun] Botany Repeated branching into two equal parts.
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).

Words that rhyme with dichotomy

lobotomy, tracheotomy, trichotomy

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: di¦chot|omy

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