Meaning of dichotomy in English:


See synonyms for dichotomy

Translate dichotomy into Spanish

nounplural noun dichotomies

  • 1usually in singular A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

    ‘a rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As dichotomies go, there's a pretty huge one between the jargon of media studies theory and the language actually spoken in the modern newsroom.’
    • ‘The dichotomies upon which this film is based sometimes seem to be treated too simply.’
    • ‘The old dichotomies of liberal-conservative, internationalist-isolationist, dove-hawk are breaking apart.’
    • ‘The old dichotomies between current and non-current, custody and non-custody, and even records and archives may be distinct relics of the past.’
    • ‘At first, the dichotomies of work and play, games and play, adult leisure and children's play, and sport and play served to define play by what it was not.’
    • ‘One of the problems with the spurious dichotomies posed between nature and nurture, or genes and environment, is that they don't help us understand the process of development.’
    • ‘Far from it, the great majority of scientists and philosophers are still stuck in the conceptual dichotomies that were appropriate to an earlier stage of science.’
    • ‘The old dichotomies begin to collapse as artists emphasize their sense of symbiosis with, rather than detachment from, Nature.’
    • ‘These writers interpret bits of disconnected data to reassert the old dichotomies of men versus women, of biology versus culture.’
    • ‘This argued that a new kind of conflict had emerged, requiring a new kind of strategy ignoring the traditional dichotomies between civil and military, peace and war.’
    • ‘The discussion focused not on game design, but on the dichotomies between the technical and the artistic sides of the industry.’
    • ‘Yet dichotomies remain: urban and rural, traditional and modern, communist and capitalist.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental dichotomies in classical physics was that between energy and matter.’
    • ‘The dichotomies are multiple, and the perspectives on this dispute are diverse as well.’
    • ‘But such simple dichotomies incorrectly assume there are easy distinctions to be made between the virtual and the actual, subject and object, or human and machine.’
    • ‘I believe such dichotomies are misleading and unrealistic.’
    • ‘He railed against the creation of artificial dichotomies, such as head versus heart, reason versus irrationality.’
    division, separation, divorce, split, gulf, chasm
    View synonyms
  • 2Botany
    usually in singularmass noun Repeated branching into two equal parts.

    • ‘At each dichotomy, the presumed ancestral genome size was indicated.’



/dʌɪˈkɒtəmi/ /dɪˈkɒtəmi/


Late 16th century via modern Latin from Greek dikhotomia, from dikho- ‘in two, apart’ + -tomia (see -tomy).