Meaning of dichotomous in English:


See synonyms for dichotomous on


  • 1Exhibiting or characterized by dichotomy.

    ‘a dichotomous view of the world’
    • ‘My thinking on this curious dichotomous view of the Church (and the even more curious affinity it has with leftist dissent) can be found here.’
    • ‘The media promotes this dichotomous view of the world.’
    • ‘Grappling with ACTION's history helps make the case for why a dichotomous view of Civil Rights and Black Power obscures more than it illuminates.’
    • ‘The trends undermine a dichotomous view of British politics and society - a political dimension of left and right which correlates with two political parties and two social classes.’
    • ‘Thus, communion and agency were generally viewed as dichotomous, limiting the possibility that both can be evident simultaneously within a given person.’
    • ‘When literacy and orality are not viewed within a dichotomous framework, then memory is no longer separate from literacy.’
    • ‘Teaching should not be viewed as dichotomous because these factors of effective teaching are intertwined in action.’
    • ‘This view emphasizes the dichotomous thinking and behavior often displayed by alcoholics.’
    • ‘The belief that bisexuality is just a phase is also pervasive, to the point where bisexuals are sometimes falsely encouraged to choose one of the dichotomous extremes of gay and straight.’
    • ‘The forced-choice format is used with each item presented separately and each pole representing a dichotomous extreme for one attitude or function.’
    • ‘In our either-or dichotomous system of logic, weakness is the opposite of strength.’
    • ‘The two alternatives, presented as dichotomous above, may be viewed as partly overlapping, and not mutually exclusive.’
    • ‘One way of avoiding this dichotomous thinking is to enable low-income mothers to make their own decisions about whether and when to work inside and outside the home.’
    • ‘Crewdson's work is replete with dichotomous tensions.’
    • ‘However, there are dangers in using these dichotomous terms.’
    • ‘It's reflective of the dichotomous nature of American thinking.’
    • ‘The lion roaming in a field with Manhattan as a backdrop really captures the dichotomous feeling of the record.’
    • ‘Technically, the two sides of a coin present a dichotomous choice.’
    • ‘And Ramon's character is dichotomous in a way never fully explored or explained.’
    • ‘Well, you see the problem is the assumption that these two types of society are dichotomous.’
    opposite, opposed, opposing, oppositional, diametrically opposed, extreme, contrary, contradictory, antithetical, antagonistic, conflicting, counterbalancing
  • 2Botany
    (of branching) in which the axis is divided into two branches.

    ‘Most members of this lineage also have the combination of pseudomonopodially-branching main axes or rhizomes, with dichotomous branch tips.’
    • ‘Subsequent branch orders may be dichotomous or pseudomonopodial.’
    • ‘They produced several types of foliage all characterized by pinnate leaves with open dichotomous venation.’
    • ‘In addition to the taxonomic descriptions, dichotomous keys, illustrations and distribution maps are presented for each species.’
    • ‘In some species, variations and gradations between dichotomous and monopodial growth patterns occur.’



/dʌɪˈkɒtəməs/ /dɪˈkɒtəməs/


Late 17th century via late Latin from Greek dikhotomos (from dikho- ‘in two’ + temnein ‘to cut’) + -ous.