from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Divided or dividing into two parts or classifications.
  • adjective Characterized by dichotomy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or consisting of a pair or pairs; divided into two, or having a dual arrangement or order.
  • Specifically— In botany, regularly dividing by pairs from below upward; two-forked: as, a dichotomous stem. A good example of a dichotomous stem is furnished by the mistletoe. See cut under dichotomy.
  • In zoology:
  • Branching by pairs; biramous; bifurcate; forked: as, the dichotomous division of a deer's antlers; the dichotomous foot of a crustacean.
  • Distichous; bifarious; two-rowed or two-ranked; parted in the middle: as, the dichotomous hairs of a squirrel's tail.
  • In classification, binary; dual; arranged in two ranks or series; opposed by pairs, as a set of characters, or a number of objects characterized by dichotomization. Also dichotomic.

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

  • adjective Regularly dividing by pairs from bottom to top.

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

  • adjective Dividing or branching into two pieces.

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

  • adjective divided or dividing into two sharply distinguished parts or classifications


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Late Latin dichotomos, from Ancient Greek διχότομος (dikhotomos, "cut in half"), from δίχα (dikha, "apart") + τέμνω (temnō, "I cut").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word dichotomous.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.