What Does Dichotomy Mean?


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Aun Jafery answered
Dichotomy refers to the division of something into two especially in logical classification. It is the dividing or separating into two mutually contradictory or exclusive groups. A synonym of the word is duality or being two fold.

Dichotomy is also a word found in astronomy. Here it refers to phases of the planets Mercury, Venus or our satellite the Moon when only half its disk is illuminated.

When in Botany branching results in the successive forking into approximate divisions of equals it is called Dichotomy.

The word is derived from the Greek word "dikhotomia" where "dikho" means divided in two and "temnein" means to cut. The word has Indo-European roots.

The parts created by dichotomy are mutually exclusive and nothing from one part overlaps in any way on the other. The two parts are mostly contradictory and are composed of mutually exclusive elements.

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