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[v., adj. bahy-fer-keyt, bahy-fur-keyt; adj. also bahy-fer-kit, bahy-fur-] /v., adj. ˈbaɪ fərˌkeɪt, baɪˈfɜr keɪt; adj. also ˈbaɪ fər kɪt, baɪˈfɜr-/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), bifurcated, bifurcating.
to divide or fork into two branches.
divided into two branches.
Origin of bifurcate
1605-15; < Medieval Latin bifurcātus, past participle of bifurcāre (bi- bi-1 + furc(a) fork + -ātus -ate1)
Related forms
[bahy-fer-keyt-lee, bahy-fur-keyt-lee, -kit-] /ˌbaɪ fərˈkeɪt li, baɪˈfɜr keɪt li, -kɪt-/ (Show IPA),
bifurcation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for bifurcate


verb (ˈbaɪfəˌkeɪt)
to fork or divide into two parts or branches
adjective (ɪbaɪˈfəˌkeɪt; -kɪt)
forked or divided into two sections or branches
Derived Forms
bifurcation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin bifurcātus, from Latin bifurcus, from bi-1 + furca fork
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bifurcate

1610s, from Medieval Latin bifurcatus, from Latin bi- (see bi-) + furca, the root of fork. Related: Bifurcated; bifurcating.


1835, from Medieval Latin bifurcatus, from Latin bi- (see bi-) + furca, the root of fork (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bifurcate in Medicine

bifurcate bi·fur·cate (bī'fər-kāt', bī-fûr'-)
v. bi·fur·cat·ed, bi·fur·cat·ing, bi·fur·cates
To divide into two parts or branches. adj. (-kāt', -kĭt)
Forked or divided into two parts or branches.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bifurcate in Science
  (bī'fər-kāt', bī-fûr'-)   
Forked or divided into two parts or branches, as the Y-shaped styles of certain flowers or the tongues of snakes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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