Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A forking or division into two branches; separation into two parts or things; in optics, same as double refraction. See refraction.
  • noun A point at which forking occurs; one or both of the bifurcating parts.
  • noun Specifically, in geography, the division of a stream into two parts, each of which connects with a different river system: as, the bifurcation of the upper Orinoco.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A forking, or division into two branches.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology A division into two branches.
  • noun by extension Any place where one thing divides into two.
  • noun The act of bifurcating; branching or dividing in two.
  • noun Either of the forks or other branches resultant from such a division.
  • noun geography A place where two roads, tributaries etc. part or meet.
  • noun nautical The point where a channel divides when proceeding from seaward.
  • noun mathematics The change in the qualitative or topological structure of a given family as decribed by bifurcation theory.
  • noun computer science A command that executes one block or other of commands depending the result of a condition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the place where something divides into two branches
  • noun the act of splitting into two branches
  • noun a bifurcating branch (one or both of them)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bifurcate +‎ -ion.

Examples

  • [Footnote: Some geographical writers apply the term bifurcation exclusively to this intercommunication of rivers; others, with more etymological propriety, use it to express the division of great rivers into branches at the head of their deltas.

    The Earth as Modified by Human Action

  • Case in point, the Chrome/Android bifurcation is as much a statement of the way products are built at Google as something elemental to mobile, mobility, tablets, netbooks and web apps.

    Google's Microsoft Moment - Anil Dash

  • His blog contains "Essays and articles about IT and Indian English," and in the latter category is an entry about the word bifurcation:Bifurcation is one my favorite words in the English language...

    languagehat.com: SOUTH INDIAN NAMES.

  • The dôm palm must bifurcate, for bifurcation is the law of its being; but I could never discover whether there was any fixed limit to the number of stems into which it might subdivide.

    A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

  • What convinces me of the reality of the national bifurcation is the commentary on Barack Obama’s first few months in office (just short of four de jure, about six de facto, since the outgoing Administration, in contrast to its predecessor, made no trouble for the incoming one).

    Back from the Mountains

  • What convinces me of the reality of the national bifurcation is the commentary on Barack Obama’s first few months in office (just short of four de jure, about six de facto, since the outgoing Administration, in contrast to its predecessor, made no trouble for the incoming one).

    Stromata Blog:

  • This separation, known as bifurcation, means that the entity that purchased and allegedly holds the note does not have the legal rights contained in the mortgage.

    Richard Zombeck: County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

  • This separation, known as bifurcation, means that the entity that purchased and allegedly holds the note does not have the legal rights contained in the mortgage.

    Richard Zombeck: County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

  • This separation, known as bifurcation, means that the entity that purchased and allegedly holds the note does not have the legal rights contained in the mortgage.

    Richard Zombeck: County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

  • This separation, known as bifurcation, means that the entity that purchased and allegedly holds the note does not have the legal rights contained in the mortgage.

    Richard Zombeck: County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

Comments

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  • The relationship which I might tentatively venture to aver has been not without some degree of reciprocal utility, and perhaps even the occasional gratification, is approaching a point of irreversible bifurcation, and, to be brief, is in the propinquity of its ultimate regrettable termination.�?

    —Sir Humphrey Appleby

    April 26, 2008

  • Yes, Minister.

    April 26, 2008

  • I love the last bit of that. '... to be brief, is in the propinquity of its ultimate regrettable termination.'

    That's about as brief as Sir H got, whahahahaha!

    April 26, 2008

  • A civil servant without peer!

    April 27, 2008