noun, plural dichotomies.
division into two parts, kinds, etc.; subdivision into halves or pairs.
division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.
Botany. a mode of branching by constant forking, as in some stems, in veins of leaves, etc.
Astronomy. the phase of the moon or of an inferior planet when half of its disk is visible.

1600–10; < Greek dichotomía. See dicho-, -tomy

dichotomic [dahy-kuh-tom-ik] , adjective
dichotomically, adverb
subdichotomy, noun, plural subdichotomies.
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World English Dictionary
dichotomy (daɪˈkɒtəmɪ)
n , pl -mies
1.  division into two parts or classifications, esp when they are sharply distinguished or opposed: the dichotomy between eastern and western cultures
2.  logic the division of a class into two mutually exclusive subclasses: the dichotomy of married and single people
3.  botany a simple method of branching by repeated division into two equal parts
4.  the phase of the moon, Venus, or Mercury when half of the disc is visible
[C17: from Greek dichotomia; see dicho-, -tomy]
usage  Dichotomy should always refer to a division of some kind into two groups. It is sometimes used to refer to a puzzling situation which seems to involve a contradiction, but this use is generally thought to be incorrect

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1610, from Gk. dichotomia "a cutting in half," from dicha "in two" + temnein "to cut" (see tome).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Someone who doesn't boil everything down to absolutes, false dichotomies, and
  an us-vs-them mentality.
One cause of perceived inconsistency is our penchant for sharp dichotomies
  framed by stark labels.
There are all kinds of false dichotomies in the body politic.
Neuroscience has been in the same realm of false dichotomies and bone headed
  materialism for decades now.
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