from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To separate into two parts or classifications.
  • intransitive v. To be or become divided into parts or branches; fork.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To separate (or be separated) into parts or classifications

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cut into two parts; to part into two divisions; to divide into pairs; to bisect.
  • transitive v. To exhibit as a half disk. See Dichotomy, 3.
  • intransitive v. To separate into two parts; to branch dichotomously; to become dichotomous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut into two parts; divide into pairs; specifically, to classify by subdivision into pairs.
  • To separate into pairs; become dichotomous.
  • Also spelled dichotomise.

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

  • v. divide into two opposing groups or kinds


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • By the mid 16th century school systems were starting to expand, and the term literate became more of a descriptor to dichotomize the population into those who could read and write in the local dialects.

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  • But as a committed member of a 500-year-old movement that has spread to more than 80 countries, I wonder whether we can really dichotomize the old, the new and the emerging.

    Sheldon C. Good: Are Mennonites Taking Over The World?

  • Be sure to realize that most of the "I'M NOT VOTING FOR OBAMA, I'D RATHER VOTE MCCAIN" comments are actually by Republicans trying to further dichotomize the party ... get off here and go campaign for old man McCain noemi in los angeles

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  • Essentially, they are attempting to dichotomize the environmental movement between hopeless anti-modern romantic yuppies, engaged in symbolic activities, and the sober modernists (exemplified by themselves) who celebrate and promote economic expansion as the only real way to address environmental degradation.

    Joseph Romm: Memo to Media: Don't be Suckered by Bad Analyses from the Breakthrough Institute

  • When lawmakers and pundits say that providing social welfare programs to single young moms encourages illegitimate pregnancies and when they dichotomize "the right to life" versus "the right to choose," they fail to see young moms and their children as fully human.

    Robin Templeton: What Every Mother Needs

  • Certainly the pressures to dichotomize the world of human experience were stronger, in that most cultures had strong sanctions against e.g. wearing gender-ambiguous or -inappropriate clothing.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • If you try to dichotomize workers and managers, you're going to get people totally de-motivated.

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  • March 7, 2006, 8: 04 pm texas hold em ottawa says: texas hold em ottawa oxygen dichotomize astounded

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  • The new and improved line of attack is to dichotomize war opponents by, first, issuing the most back-handed of compliments to those who were anti-war all along – the unthreatening, marginalized “Michael Moore crowd.”

    Archive 2005-11-01

  • Human beings love to dichotomize things, but the real world does not work that way. » 2005 » October


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  • How about something like "Westerners tend to dichotomize their experiences, supposing that if there is good, there must be evil; if there is beauty, there must be ugliness."

    October 22, 2007

  • I know what it means, I'm just not sure how to use it in a reasonable sentence.

    October 22, 2007