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bifurcate

[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.
1.
to divide or fork into two branches.
adjective
2.
divided into two branches.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < Medieval Latin bifurcātus, past participle of bifurcāre (bi- bi-1 + furc(a) fork + -ātus -ate1)
Related forms
bifurcately
[bahy-fer-keyt-lee, bahy-fur-keyt-lee, -kit-] /ˌbaɪ fərˈkeɪt li, baɪˈfɜr keɪt li, -kɪt-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
bifurcation, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bifurcation
  • The developmental anomaly that causes animals to occasionally form two heads is called axial bifurcation.
  • The only remedy for this disease is to get liberated from the mind itself, because it is the mind which creates this bifurcation.
  • Once this bifurcation occurs, the only match-up between the two can occur at points of care.
  • Below the first costal cartilage it descends almost vertically to its point of bifurcation.
  • The superficial part of the cardiac plexus lies above its bifurcation, between it and the arch of the aorta.
British Dictionary definitions for bifurcation

bifurcate

verb (ˈbaɪfəˌkeɪt)
1.
to fork or divide into two parts or branches
adjective (ɪbaɪˈfəˌkeɪt; -kɪt)
2.
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 bifurcation
n.

1610s, "the point at which something splits in two," noun of action from bifurcate (v.). Meaning "division into two forks" is from 1640s.

bifurcate

v.

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

adj.

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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bifurcation 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.

bifurcation bi·fur·ca·tion (bī'fər-kā'shən)
n.
A division into two branches; a forking.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bifurcation in Science
bifurcate
  (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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Encyclopedia Article for bifurcation

(from Greek dicha, "apart," and tomos, "cutting"), a form of logical division consisting of the separation of a class into two subclasses, one of which has and the other has not a certain quality or attribute. Men thus may be divided into professional men and men who are not professionals; each of these may be subdivided similarly. On the principle of contradiction this division is both exhaustive and exclusive; there can be no overlapping, and no members of the original genus or the lower groups are omitted. This method of classification, though formally accurate, has slight value in the exact sciences, partly because at every step one of the two groups is merely negatively characterized and is usually an artificial, motley class; but it sets forth clearly the gradual descent from the most inclusive genus (summum genus) through species to the lowest class (infima species), which is divisible only into individual persons or things.

Learn more about bifurcation with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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