di·​chot·​o·​mous | \ dī-ˈkä-tə-məs How to pronounce dichotomous (audio) also də- \

Definition of dichotomous

1 : dividing into two parts
2 : relating to, involving, or proceeding from dichotomy the plant's dichotomous branching a dichotomous approach can't be split into dichotomous categories

Other Words from dichotomous

dichotomously adverb
dichotomousness noun

Examples of dichotomous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For me and many like me, the gamut of our decision-making is not dichotomous – to have a baby or not have a baby. Kwentoria A. Williams, Essence, 11 Apr. 2022 None of the six is strictly dichotomous, Jordan-Young said, and the different markers don’t always align. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 The steampunk grandeur of the lobby at the Pearl’s Hotel Emma, dressed in the dichotomous trappings of old industrial majesty, hides luxury in plain sight. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Mar. 2022 Aside from Duffy’s childhood neighbor, Johnny Marr is better known as the genius behind the sad/happy, all-too-relatable dichotomous sound of The Smiths, and, ever since then, one of the most influential alt-rock songwriters of our time. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 4 Mar. 2022 Berlin, portrayed by Pedro Alonso in the original series, is a terminally ill, morally ambiguous jewel thief who quickly became a fan favorite, albeit a controversial one, thanks to his dichotomous personality. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 1 Dec. 2021 Being proactive and reactive aren't dichotomous choices, by the way. Eugene Litvak, Forbes, 1 June 2021 The first half was another one of those dichotomous situations for Clarkson, who scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and committed two turnovers. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 May 2021 Stoglin believes Cole's presence is dichotomous for his public image drawing media attention to the burgeoning league, but the musician potentially overstepped another worthy pro player's chance to earn a BAL roster spot. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 26 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of dichotomous

1752, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dichotomous

borrowed from Late Latin dichotomos, borrowed from Greek dichótomos "cut in half, divided equally," from dicho- dicho- + -tomos, adjective derivative from the base of témnein "to cut" — more at tome

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The first known use of dichotomous was in 1752

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dichotomous key

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Last Updated

22 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dichotomous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dichotomous. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dichotomous


di·​chot·​o·​mous | \ dī-ˈkät-ə-məs also də- \

Medical Definition of dichotomous

: dividing into two parts dichotomous branching

Other Words from dichotomous

dichotomously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dichotomous

Britannica English: Translation of dichotomous for Arabic Speakers


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