bifurcate

verb bi·fur·cate \ ˈbī-(ˌ)fər-ˌkāt , bī-ˈfər- \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of bifurcate

bifurcated; bifurcating
transitive verb
:to cause to divide into two branches or parts
  • bifurcate a beam of light
intransitive verb
:to divide into two branches or parts
  • The stream bifurcates into two narrow channels.

bifurcate

play \(ˌ)bī-ˈfər-kət, -ˌkāt; ˈbī-(ˌ)fər-ˌkāt\ adjective

bifurcate was our Word of the Day on 08/14/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bifurcate in a Sentence

  1. The stream bifurcated into two narrow winding channels.

  2. bifurcate a beam of light

Recent Examples of bifurcate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bifurcate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Yogi Berra, the baseball great who was noted for his head-scratching quotes, is purported to have said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi’s advice might not offer much help when making tough decisions in life, but perhaps it will help you remember today’s word, bifurcate. A road that bifurcates splits in two like the one in Yogi’s adage. Other things can bifurcate as well, such as an organization that splits into two factions. Bifurcate derives from the Latin bifurcus, meaning "two-pronged," a combination of the prefix bi- ("two") and the noun furca ("fork"). Furca, as you can probably tell, gave us our word fork.

Origin and Etymology of bifurcate

Medieval Latin bifurcatus, past participle of bifurcare, from Latin bifurcus two-pronged, from bi- + furca fork


BIFURCATE Defined for English Language Learners

bifurcate

verb

Definition of bifurcate for English Language Learners

  • : to divide into two parts


Medical Dictionary

bifurcate

intransitive verb bi·fur·cate \ ˈbī-(ˌ)fər-ˌkāt , bī-ˈfər- \

medical Definition of bifurcate

bifurcated; bifurcating
:to divide into two branches or parts

bifurcate

play \(ˈ)bī-ˈfər-kət, -ˌkāt; ˈbī-(ˌ)fər-ˌkāt\ or bifurcated play \-ˌkāt-əd\ adjective

bifurcation

play \ˌbī-(ˌ)fər-ˈkā-shən\ noun

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