dichotomy


dichotomy
noun (plural -mies) Etymology: Greek dichotomia, from dichotomos Date: 1610 1. a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities <
the dichotomy between theory and practice
>
; also the process or practice of making such a division <
dichotomy of the population into two opposed classes
>
2. the phase of the moon or an inferior planet in which half its disk appears illuminated 3. a. bifurcation; especially repeated bifurcation (as of a plant's stem) b. a system of branching in which the main axis forks repeatedly into two branches c. branching of an ancestral line into two equal diverging branches 4. something with seemingly contradictory qualities <
it's a dichotomy, this opulent Ritz-style luxury in a place that fronts on a boat harbor — Jean T. Barrett
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.